Japan restarts nuclear reactor at Ohi
After Fukushima crisis over a year ago, Japan restart its nuclear reactor at the Ohi nuclear power plant on Sunday. This is the first power plant to go online since Japan closed all its reactors after Fukushima accident.
The reactivation didn’t pass without controversy. According to the Associated Press, thousands of people clamored outside Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s home demanding “No to nuclear restarts.” Noda, who ordered the Ohi reactor be switched on, said that it was needed to sustain Japan’s energy supplies. Before the tsunami, nuclear energy powered approximately 30% of Japan’s power.
The plant is located on Japan’s western coast near the city of Kyoto. All of Japan’s active reactors have been offline since May 5, when the government decided to institute safety checks.
The country faces a serious power shortage the very real possibility of blackouts in some regions and hence needs nuclear power. Since the Fukushima plant forced the evacuation of thousands of people last year, the government has started looking for more reliable energy options, including renewable sources.