No nuclear power by 2030
The Japanese government has announced that it intends to close all 50 of its nuclear power stations by 2030. The move comes after the Tokyo Electric Power Cos Fukushima Daiichi plant was destroyed in an earthquake and tsunami last year.
The decision will mean that Japan will become more dependent on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil for use in its power plants. Japan Today reports that the government estimated last week that it would cost 3.1 trillion yen more in fuel imports if they were to abandon nuclear power immediately.
The move by the government comes after intense pressure from the public and street protests about nuclear power. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is expected to call a general election later this year following a deal struck with the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to get a sales tax increase passed. The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is currently deeply unpopular with voters.