Workers have opened the doors of a damaged reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and once radiation levels are low enough, workers will enter the building to begin repairs of the crippled plant. Meanwhile, the Hamaoka nuclear power plant upwind of Tokyo sits atop a major fault line that seismologists predict will shift in the next 30 years. In the wake of Fukushima, the Japanese government has decided to temporarily close the Hamoaka plant until a safety review is complete. Beyond this, however, Japan has no intention of closing any of its 54 operational nuclear power plants.
What’s the Big Idea?
In an event that many speculated would spell the end of nuclear power’s advance, the explosions at Fukushima have sent practically no shock waves through the country’s energy policy. Japan currently relies on nuclear power for a quarter of its energy supply and Prime Minister Kan will make no immediate changes to that dependency. Tokyo residents are already set to face power outages during the summer months as a result of a loss of power at Fukushima and other plants in earthquaked-damaged northern Japan.