August 2014, Vol. 241, No. 8

Features

Japans LNG Dilemma, Energy Supply Challenges

Japan’s government approved its new, but unpopular, energy policy in April by reinstating nuclear power as an “important base-load power source.” It has tried to reassure the public the overall direction toward less reliance on nuclear power generation has not changed. It is unclear how many of the existing 48 idle nuclear reactors will be able to restart, given the high costs of further upgrades to meet new safety guidelines, local opposition and seismic risks. The share of nuclear power fell from 30% of Japan’s power supply before the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in 2011 to just 3% of electricity generation by 2012. Japan was the world’s larg

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