52 of 54 Nuclear Reactors Shut Down in Japan

52 of the 54 nuclear reactors in Japan are currently offline for a variety of reasons. Mainly the disaster at Fukushima, which occurred March of last year, is driving an anti-nuclear sentiment and an interest in other energy sources, including natural gas.

Until recently, Japan was one of the world leaders in nuclear power, so such a shift is very significant, both culturally and economically. It has been revealed the central government did not let on to the public how damaging some of the possible scenarios may have been. About 10,000 spent fuel rods were being stored in pools of water near the damaged Fukushima reactor, and the government officials didn’t know if those fuel rods were in danger of releasing additional large amounts of radiation. It took them a long time to check to see if the water levels in the pools were safe or unsafe, “We barely avoided the worst case scenario, though the public didn’t know it at the time,” Mr. Funabashi. (Source: ETF Daily)

According to the Washington Post, there was talk amongst some officials of even evacuating Tokyo, which is an enormous city with nearly 13 million people. It also was not revealed at the time that contaminated areas might be not safe for decades.

The prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, is for a gradual phase-out of nuclear power over the coming decades, but wants some of the nuclear power plants to come back online soon, because about one third of country’s electricity has been supplied by nuclear. Without nuclear, they are even more dependent on imports of oil and natural gas. The Prime Minister said he won’t have the plants switched on, unless local community leaders agree, and they haven’t so far.

Germany reacted to the radiation leaks in Japan by moving to phase out their nuclear plants quickly. The fact nuclear power in Japan is currently offline mostly, and is being shuttered in Germany means pro-nuclear advocates are on less steady ground for continuing to promote that form of power.

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Related Links

Germany Phasing Out Nuclear?

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Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

Only 2 more to go... :)

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson5 years ago

Thankyou for posting this, Jake!

Kiana S.
Kiana S5 years ago

Good plan. I'm glad they seem to be learning from Fukushima. Of course I'm saying this with hindsight, but it doesn't seem like a good idea to use such dangerous sources of energy in a country that is so prone to natural disasters...

Ang H. please correct me if I'm wrong, maybe my memory of the event is incorrect, but I don't think many people have died from the radiation poisoning. The people who were lost in the tsunami would have died whether Japan was using nuclear power or not...

Rossy Osborne
Rossy Osborne5 years ago

I still cannot understand why Japan never went into geothermal power. They have it on their doorstep created by mother nature.
It's just depressingly sad that so many people had to die, before their countrymen and other countries sat up and took notice.
Even more disappointing is that other countries are burying their heads in the sand with 'Oh that wont happen to us!'

Monica D.
Monica D5 years ago

This sounds like good news. Go wind and solar!

Lynn C.
Lynn C5 years ago

Two countries known for their practicality and intelligence. Too bad others can't learn from them - even their mistakes!

Vicki B.
Vicki B5 years ago

I wish the whole world would shut them down.

Ang H.
angie Harper5 years ago

Now all you have to do is be convinced that WHALE AND DOLPHIN MEAT is appalling!

Ang H.
angie Harper5 years ago

BRAVO JAPAN.....learned a sad lesson. 20,000 had to die horribly for this to be understood.

Kenneth D.
Kenneth Davies5 years ago

good news