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Japan halts production at last nuclear reactor

Japan halts production at last nuclear reactor
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Japan’s last nuclear reactor still in use is to be turned off.

It means the country will be without nuclear power until at least December, making it the longest shut-down since the 1960s.

After the Fukishima meltdown in 2011, all of the country’s nuclear plants were closed. Two reactors at Oi in western Japan were restarted in July 2012. One was turned off earlier this month and the final one will be closed on Monday for checks, which could take at least six months.

Before the Fukishima accident, caused by a massive earthquake and tsunami, about 30 percent of Japan’s power was nuclear. Now the country has to rely on expensive fossil fuels from abroad.

Much of the Japanese public has lost faith in nuclear power, fearing more serious accidents,

The government is under pressure to tighten safety standards. It recently took over the running of the Fukishima plan after it continued to leak radioactive water.