Japan to shut down last operating nuclear reactor

Japan, on May 5, 2012, will shut down the country’s lone remaining nuclear power plant, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Japan has been generating electricity from nuclear power since 1966. Prior to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in March 2011, the country had 50 operating reactors that generated over 44,000 MW, or about 30 percent of the nation’s demand. Plans were in place to increase the share of nuclear power generation to 40 percent by 2017.

Japan has turned to oil- and natural-gas fired plants to make up for the loss. The Ministry of Environment in Japan expects Japan to produce about 15 percent more greenhouse gas emissions this fiscal year than it did in 1990, the Associated Press reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Japanese government wants to restart two units in western Japan before demand rises during the summer months.

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