Nuclear power plants supplied approximately 30% of Japan’s electricity. Their government planned to raise that ceiling to 50% by the year 2030.
Naoto Kan, Japanese prime minister, in a press conference held last week declared that his country will have to “start from scratch” on it’s long term energy policy after the Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear power plant disaster.
Just to remind you, this power plant was heavily damaged this March, after which it started leaking radiation. Damage was caused by a tsunami - triggered by a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck about 400 km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo.
Mr. Kan said in news conference that nuclear and fossil fuel used to be the only pillars of Japanese energy policy, but now the government will add two more pillars: renewable energy such as solar, wind and biomass, and and will increase it's focus on conservation. "We will thoroughly ensure safety for nuclear power generation and make efforts to further promote renewable energy, an area where Japan has lagged", he said.
On Friday, Prime Minister Kan asked Chubu Electric Power to halt operations at its plant in Hamaoka (120 miles south of Tokyo).
Mr Naoto Kan said that three reactors sit in an area due for an earthquake, and new safety measures need to be put in place.
This shutdown may result in power disruptions to very important manufacturers including Toyota Motor.