Japan Starts First Nuclear Reactor Since Fukushima

KYUSHU, JAPAN AUGUST 11, 2015  - The Sendai Unit 1, owned and operated by the Kyushu Electric Power Company, located on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan, returned to operation amidst much protest from anti-nuclear supporters.

The 2011 Fukushima Daichi disaster caused the immediate shutdown of Japan's 48 operating nuclear reactors. Prior to Fukushima, nuclear power accounted for 30% of the nation's energy demands. Since then, electricity rates soared due to imports of costly alternatives such as gas and coal to make up for the nuclear shortfall.

Public opinion in Japan is divided with many questioning the ability of its operators to avoid another relapse of Fukushima.

Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, empathizes with his people but also realize without nuclear power, rising energy costs from fossil fuels can easily shatter an already fragile island economy. In the future, Abe's administration is seeking to reduce the country's reliance on nuclear to 20-22% by 2030.

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