Japan is set to shut down its last operational nuclear plant following last year’s Fukushima meltdown disaster. However, with a giant energy quota to fill and no viable substitute, many predict a nuclear-free future will be short-lived.
The Hokkaido electric company closes down its Tomari plant, the last of Japan’s 53 atomic power stations, on Saturday, leaving a country-already dependent on foreign fuel imports -without nuclear energy.
Since the earthquake and tsunami caused a triple meltdown last March at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the Japanese government has been gradually de-commissioning and closing plants throughout the country.
The government has faced increasing pressure from environmental groups to abandon nuclear energy following the Fukushima catastrophe. It forced tens of thousands of Japanese from their homes after dangerous levels of radiation contaminated local food and water supplies.