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*Nuclear Free Japan! Conserve, efficiency

Nuclear-free Japan braces for severe power shortages

Source:  Copyright 2012, Reuters
Date:  May 7, 2012
Byline:  Leika Kihara
Original URL: Status ONLINE
Photo Photo

The shutdown of Japan's last working nuclear power plant and the government's failure to convince a wary public about restoring production at dozens of reactors leaves the world's third largest economy facing another summer of severe power shortages.

Hokkaido Electric Power Co shut its nuclear plant late on Saturday - the last of Japan's 50 reactors to go off line - marking the first time since 1970 Japan has been nuclear power-free.

Japan's $5 trillion economy has relied heavily on nuclear power for decades, with its reactors providing almost 30 percent of electricity needs, but last year's massive earthquake and subsequent nuclear crisis spurred a public backlash against atomic energy.

Cabinet ministers have largely failed to win over the public to allow the restart of the country's plants - shut one by one for scheduled maintenance and unable to resume operations because of concerns about safety.

Japan's Asahi newspaper said ...

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