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OHI, Japan — All but two of Japan’s 54 commercial reactors have gone offline since the nuclear disaster a year ago, after the earthquake and tsunami, and it is not clear when they can be restarted. With the last operating reactor scheduled to be idled as soon as next month, Japan — once one of the world’s leaders in atomic energy — will have at least temporarily shut down an industry that once generated a third of its electricity. With few alternatives, the prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, has called for restarting the plants as soon as possible, saying he supports a gradual phase-out of nuclear power over several decades. Yet, fearing public opposition, he has said he will not restart the reactors without the approval of local community leaders.
On a more fundamental level, the standoff over nuclear power underscores just how much the trauma of the Fukushima accident has changed attitudes in Japan, long one of the world’s most committed promoters of civilian atomic energy. Political and energy experts describe nothing short of a nationwide loss of faith, not only in Japan’s once-vaunted nuclear technology but also in the government, which many blame for allowing the accident to happen.
But it is the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi that looks likely to have a more lasting impact, even though it has yet to claim a single life. Japan is just beginning what promises to be a radiation cleanup that will last decades of the evacuated areas around the plant, where nearly 90,000 residents lost their homes. The nation is also groping to find effective ways to monitor health and protect its food supply from contamination by the accident, which government scientists now say released about a fifth as much radioactive cesium as the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
Then there are the new feelings of distrust in technology and in the government, which many Japanese now blame for hiding the true dangers of the nuclear accident. At the same time, this resource-poor nation also knows that it has few realistic alternatives to nuclear power, at least in the short term.
Originally posted by Raxoxane
reply to post by RoyalBlue
I live in South Africa..this news has just spoiled my appetite for dinner.Lets hope nothing comes of it.