Should Japan's nuclear reactors stay offline?
As the last of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors switched off Saturday, thousands of Japanese called for the end of their country's reliance on them altogether.
Japan was without electricity from nuclear power for the first time in four decades when the reactor at Tomari nuclear plant on the northern island of Hokkaido went offline for mandatory routine maintenance.
After last year's March 11 quake and tsunami set off meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, no reactor halted for checkups has been restarted amid public worries about the safety of nuclear technology.
The government has been eager to restart nuclear reactors, warning about blackouts and rising carbon emissions as Japan is forced to turn to oil and gas for energy.
The response from people living near nuclear plants has been mixed, with some wanting them back in operation because of jobs, subsidies and other benefits to the local economy.
Before the nuclear crisis, Japan relied on nuclear power for a third of its electricity. News of the reactor's shutdown received a mixed response from the CBC Community.
The government plans to restart the nuclear reactors that pass new safety tests. But with protesters celebrating an historic nuclear-free day, could this be the best time to investigate newer sources of energy?
- "Interesting how nuclear power was once thought to be the solution for our future power needs. I just hope that the rest of the world can follow Japan's lead in doing away with it. There are alternatives." - my-two-sense
- "I hope that they can lead the way in green energy. We do not need atomic energy with so many other alternatives! Hopefully the rest of the world can learn something from Japan." - Murk-man
- "While I agree and applaud the shut down, let's face it ... nuclear power is needed, at least until they come up with a viable alternative to oil and gas." - homeofthefree
- "Nuclear power to generate electricity is a resource mankind should not dismiss. The objective should not be to eliminate nuclear power but to make sure the plants are properly built, managed and maintained." - Patoruzu
- "The Japanese people have a huge challenge before them. Their government will be under tremendous pressure from the powerful interests invested in nuclear and fossil-fuel generation to maintain the status quo. But if the country can resist and move ahead aggressively to develop new energy technology perhaps it can lead the way to a cleaner safer future for all of us. Good luck to them." - ol'red
Should the nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline? Why or why not? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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