In the wake of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in a generation, yet another nuclear reactor in Japan was taken offline for maintenance on Monday, leaving only one of the country’s 54 nuclear reactors operational. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the company responsible for the three reactors in Fukushima that suffered a meltdown when the area was hit with a tsunami last year, took the last of its 17 nuclear reactors offline this week for safety and stress tests. Japan’s last operating reactor is scheduled to be taken down in early May, leaving threats of power outages for that nation, which previously depended on nuclear energy for as much as one-third of its power.
Following the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that shook Japan in March 2011, at least three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power complex suffered explosions due to cooling system failures, and thousands of nearby residents were evacuated. Since then, polls have revealed that 80 percent of Japanese residents no longer trust the government’s nuclear safety programs, and 57 percent oppose the relaunch of idle nuclear power plants.
Nuclear reactors are typically taken offline every 13 months for regular safety checks in Japan, but due to public pressure and fears over safety following the Fukushima meltdown, none of the reactors that have been idled have been allowed to restart. According to Agence France-Presse, reactors that have been taken offline must get approval from their host communities before they are restarted, and in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, many people living near nuclear plants are unwilling to grant power companies permission.
With summer fast approaching, fears of widespread power outages are growing, but the Japanese government hasn’t announced any plans to cap energy use. And with all of those nuclear power plants offline, the country has had to turn to oil and coal plants to make up for the lost power, causing a nationwide spike in CO2 levels.
174 Comments >
19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans
- 105 Comments >
- 38 Comments >
- 7 Comments >
- 2002 Comments >
411 Comments >
BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a HP Pavilion dv6 Laptop and Green Prize Package (Worth $1155!)
- 391 Comments >
- 366 Comments >
- 350 Comments >
284 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter to Win a Voltaic Laptop-Charging Solar Backpack Filled With Green School Supplies (Worth $500)!
281 Comments >
GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a Sloan AQUS Grey Water Toilet System That Recycles Your Sink Water (Worth $189)!
- 247 Comments >
240 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter Inhabitat's Back To School Contest to Win $250+ of Green Goodies Including a Voltaic Solar Backpack (Worth $129)
- 228 Comments >
- 221 Comments >
- 187 Comments >
Namba Parks was conceived when Osaka Stadium closed down, presenting a great redevelopment opportunity for a new commercial district right next to the Namba Train Station, which is just one stop away from Kansai Airport. Since it's one of the first placesREAD MORE >
Top image: A child is put to work at a militia-run mine in Watsa. © Marcus Bleasdale/National Geographic Captured during a 2004 visit to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, Bleasdale's images "tell the story of the country's mineral resourceREAD MORE >
You've all heard the tired mantras about changing your lightbulbs and recycling at home in order to save the planet - are you yawning yet? Many consumers think that going green is a gesture of self-sacrifice that often comes at great expense and inconvenienceREAD MORE >
Did you know that there are wolves living near you in almost every state in the country? Sadly most of these wolves are not living in the wild, but in wolf sanctuaries, which are conservation organizations set up to protect them and help grow their populationREAD MORE >
BANANAS You might have heard that bananas are favored by athletes because they contain potassium and it's that same reason that makes them great hangover cures. When you're hungover, your body has lost a lot of potassium that needs to be replenished, so eatingREAD MORE >
Images © Graham King “The shopping cart tree symbolizes both generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart. We see shopping carts every day and take them for granted. IndividuallyREAD MORE >
TIP 1: Wrap Your Home in Insulation - "The More, The Better!" Proper insulation is probably the most important factor you can control in creating an energy-efficient home. I always say insulation is like chocolate, the more you have, the better! On average,READ MORE >
While conjuring up comfort in the home seems like a basic principle, it’s a far more complex process for architect & remodeling guru Sarah Susanka, who believes that comfort can significantly influence the sustainability of your personal abode. WithREAD MORE >
Two architects, Jos Burger and Wouter Keijzer of BK. Architecten, in charge of the renovation of the old church decided to preserve the atmosphere of the existing place with a spatial intervention that preserves its historical value. The three new floors wereREAD MORE >
For centuries, the Dutch have manipulated the landscape to move water away from their dwellings. Instead of battling the elements, Netherlands-based firm Waterstudio just announced plans to construct the world's first floating apartment complex in 2014! TheREAD MORE >
The Biomimicry Manual: What can We Learn About Resilience, Weight Loss, and Kidney Disease from the Grizzly Bear?I'm off to the wilds of Montana this week, doing some in-person, up-close biomimicry research, and I've got my fingers crossed I'll see a grizzly bear. But you know, over there, not over here. With five inch long claws, massive muscular shoulders and forearms,READ MORE >
INHABITAT: How does the term Colorfast describe your latest show? R Nelson Parrish: The term Colorfast originally is a textile industry term derived at the beginning of the last century. It defines how a color cannot fade, wash out, or be diluted over time,READ MORE >