On Saturday Japan will have closed all 50 of their operational nuclear reactors:
The Fukushima crisis is eroding years of Japanese efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming, as power plants running on oil and natural gas fill the electricity gap left by now-shuttered nuclear reactors.
Before last year’s devastating tsunami triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, Japan had planned to meet its carbon emissions reduction targets on the assumption that it would rely onnuclear power, long considered a steady, low-emissions source of energy.
But now it’s unclear to what extent nuclear energy will even be part of the electricity mix.
Japan will be free of atomic power for the first time since 1966 on Saturday, when the last of its 50 usable reactors is switched off for regular inspections. The central government would like to restart them at some point, but it is running into strong opposition from local citizens and governments.
With the loss of nuclear energy, the Ministry of Environment projects that Japan will produce about 15 percent more greenhouse gas emissions this fiscal year than it did in 1990, the baseline year for measuring progress in reducing emissions. In fiscal 2010, Japan’s actual emissions were close to 1990 levels. It also raises doubts about whether it will be able to meet a pledge made in Copenhagen in 2009 to slash emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. [AP]
You can read the rest at the link but the Japanese have decided to expand the use of fossil fuels to meet baseline demand because unlike Germany which has also ended nuclear power, they don’t have the advantage of being able to buy energy from a neighboring country like the Germans do with France.