Japan Shuts Down Last Nuclear Reactor
Tokyo, May 5 (RHC)-- Japan is switching off its last working nuclear reactor, as part of the safety drive since the March 2011 tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima plant. The third reactor at the Tomari plant, located in Hokkaido prefecture, is shutting down for routine maintenance.
The move leaves Japan without energy from atomic power for the first time for more than 40 years. Until last year, Japan got 30 percent of its power from nuclear energy.
Hundreds of people marched through Tokyo on Friday, waving banners to celebrate what they hope will be the end of nuclear power in Japan. Since the Fukushima disaster, all the country's reactors have been shut down for routine maintenance. They are required to withstand tests against earthquakes and tsunamis, and local authorities must give their consent in order for plants to restart. So far, none have begun operations again.
Two reactors at the Ohi plant in western Japan have been declared safe and the government says they should be restarted to prevent future shortages of energy. However, regional authorities still have to give their approval.