Toru Hashimoto

The End of an Era? Final Japanese Nuclear Power Plant to Shut Down Sunday

Damage at Fukushima Daiichi as seen on March 18, 2011. (photo: DigitalGlobe)

Before the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011, about a third of the country’s electricity was supplied by the 54 nuclear power plants scattered throughout the country. In the intervening time, those nuclear reactors not directly damaged on March 11 have been shutting down for inspections and public opposition is preventing their re-start. The final plant remaining online, the number 3 reactor at the Tomari plant in Hokkaido, will be powered down late Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The Washington Post describes the political process by which the plants have been shut down:

The break from nuclear power is less a matter of policy than political paralysis. Japan’s central government has recommitted to nuclear power in the wake of last year’s triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, but those authorities haven’t yet convinced host communities and provincial governors that nuclear power is necessary — or that a tarnished and yet-unreformed regulatory agency is up to the job of ensuring safety.

Because Japan depends on local consensus for its nuclear decisions, those maintenance checkups — mandated every 13 months — have turned into indefinite shutdowns, and resource-poor Japan has scrambled to import costlier fossil fuels to fill the energy void.

Before the Fukushima accident, Japan operated 54 commercial reactors, which accounted for about one-third of the country’s energy supply. But in the last year, 17 of those reactors were either damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami or shut down because of government request. Thirty-six others were shuttered after inspections and have not been restarted.

The New York Times has more on the political standoff: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @emptywheel Whaaaa? You didn't stay up until Pat's first pick? I'd kill if the Cards on the clock took MSU QB, but don't think they will.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The last smart play the 49ers executed was to get rid of Kaptain Khaki. Since then, 0 fer 9ers
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Have to say, every time I see Roger Goodell at the podium, I want to massively heave.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @theurbansherpa No matter what, gotta grant the guy his performance, especially in the clutch. Other than that though, what a horrible human
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @theurbansherpa I don't know what that was that was the red ooze. But dude was on bad ass pitcher. Saw it up+close, inc. World Series, here
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @theurbansherpa: @bmaz Remember that day we thought it was blood from a torn ligament soaking into his sock, but it turned out it was hi…
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Dunno about that, but if so, there is one less with the firing of Schilling https://t.co/YAVasEbuuU
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RMFifthCircuit It really is
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @RMFifthCircuit: This is possibly the worst man's shirt ever. https://t.co/PCUZMEFdH3
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @tomecurran @richeisen Uh, whut??
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Roger Goodell and the @NFL are out of control. https://t.co/zSfcYmCA4N
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Also, still, @ESPN's Jon Gruden is one of the most overrated humans on the face of the earth
4hreplyretweetfavorite
April 2016
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930