Japan nuclear-free as it shuts last reactor

Japan’s only operating nuclear reactor has been switched off, leaving the country with no nuclear power supply. Kansai Electric Power’s 1,180MW Ohi No. 4 reactor has stopped generating electricity as […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Japan’s only operating nuclear reactor has been switched off, leaving the country with no nuclear power supply.

Kansai Electric Power’s 1,180MW Ohi No. 4 reactor has stopped generating electricity as it was disconnected from the grid this week for maintenance procedures.

However, no restart date has been set yet due to public resistance towards nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster in March 2011 – the clean-up for which the Government pledged 47 billion yen (£0.3bn) recently.

Reports however claim there have been concerns over power supply in the winter as some fear there might not be enough energy for the country. Nuclear provided around 30% of the nation’s electricity before the Fukushima incident.

Makota Yagi, Chairman of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan told reporters the nation’s regional energy firms are currently still assessing power demand and supply for the winter to see if thermal power generation from fossil fuels will be enough.

The supply from fossil fuels such as coal and gas will now have to cover for almost all of the power that was provided by nuclear reactors.

The Ohi reactor is located around 95 kilometres northeast of Osaka.