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Japan’s tough nuclear question after Fukushima

A year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan’s atomic future remains in the balance

High electricity bills for a manufacturing-export economy mean Japan must consider restarting nuclear reactors, or permanently damage its prized industrial base. At the end of January, only three of the country’s 54 reactors were operating. Seventeen units were shut down as a direct result of the deadly earthquake and tsunami on 11 March last year and related government requests, while the remaining 34 have shut following routine maintenance, but have not been granted permission to restart operations. The remaining three are to shut by April, removing around 20% of Japan’s electricity-generating capacity if none is restarted. The global gas industry is convinced that Japan must restart its

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