A nuclear power station. The nuclear reactor is contained inside the spherical containment building in the center - left and right are cooling towers which are common cooling devices used in all thermal power stations, and likewise, emit water vapor from the non-radioactive steam turbine section of the power plant.
Residents in Japan are in for even colder winter months. Japan has shut down its last remaining working nuclear power plant for maintenance check over the weekend. Plans as when it will resume operations remain unclear.
Kansai Electric Power Co has stopped the operations of the reactor no. 4 at its Oi plant in Fukui prefecture in western Japan. The shutdown has effectively placed all of the country's 50 nuclear power plants offline.
The Ohi No 4 reactor was capable of providing 1,180 MW of power supply to its recipients. It services the Kansai area of western Japan. The plant is located 95 kilometres (60 miles) northeast of Osaka.
A high-power electrical transmission tower
With all its nuclear power plants offline, concerns as to how the country's residents would be able to carry on the upcoming cold winter months surface.
Still, majority of the nation strongly believe and want nuclear power eliminated from Japan's lists of power supply givers.
"The argument that no nuclear power dents the economy would be myopic, considering that if by mistake we had another tragedy like Fukushima, Japan would suffer from further collateral damage and lose global trust," Tetsunari Iida, head of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, and a renewable energy expert, was quoted by Reuters.
"In the new economy, the less you use energy, the more value-added you become. The big chorus for nuclear power is hampering the efforts to move to a new, more open economy."
The latest shutdown is the third for Japan in a span of four decades. Its' nuclear reactors provide one third of the country's power supply needs. Japan has spent billions of dollars importing coal, gas and oil to meet up its power requirements.
Japan last shutdown all its 50 nuclear power plants in May-June 2012, following the reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks at the Fukushima facility triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami a year earlier, in March 2011.
The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, the worst nuclear accident in 25 years, displaced 50,000 households after radiation leaked into the air, soil and sea. Radiation checks led to bans of some shipments of vegetables and fish
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