Japan Faces Energy Concerns After 7.1 Aftershock

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BY: SAMUEL JOSEPH ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY You're watching multisource global news analysis from Newsy. Energ...
BY: SAMUEL JOSEPH ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY You're watching multisource global news analysis from Newsy. Energy concerns rise as Japan is hit with the largest aftershock since the March 11th 8.9 magnitude earthquake. Thursday’s 7.1 magnitude aftershock knocked out power to more than two million homes in northeast Japan, lasting more than a minute and killing three people while injuring hundreds more. And it’s not just household outages that have people worried. The Fukushima nuclear reactors -- which have been front and center since the March 11 quake -- did not suffer significant further damage this round. But ABC reports, other plants were not so fortunate. NEAL KARLINSKY: “At two other facilities, the Onogawa Nuclear Plant and the Higashidori Plant, the quake caused power outages that forced both on to emergency generators to keep fuel rods safe. At Onogawa, water from spent fuel roads actually spilled on to the floor, but was contained. Experts monitoring the crisis worry that more strain is being put on reactors that are already overburdened.” Five coal-powered plants were also shut down, increasing the strain on Japan’s power sources. With the anticipated peak in electricity usage during the upcoming summer months, the Japanese government has taken steps to prevent widespread power grid failure. According to American Chronicle... “...the government appears to believe massive blackouts would occur unless measures backed by the force of law are in place. Such concern has prompted the government to call on leading companies to reduce electricity consumption by 25 percent to 30 percent over last year.” Households are being asked to cut electricity usage between 15 to 20 percent. This has prompted some to buy energy efficient bulbs and appliances -- and the BBC reports, businesses are feeling the squeeze as well. TOSHIO NAKAMURA: “We are proposing changes in the way we operate, like changing hours to work during the night or in the early morning. Some shops can close on Monday, and others on Tuesday to have some sort of rotating system. We’re not using elevators, turning down lights and not having the air conditioning on too cold.” The issues with the Onogawa and Higashidori plants, along with the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima plant, have caused serious doubts about the future of nuclear power in Japan. According to officials interviewed by the Denki Shimbun - the future of nuclear power is still unclear. “Depending on the future development of the accident, we could be drawn into a situation where we will temporarily not be able to support nuclear power, which had been actively promoted by the national government as national policy.” More aftershocks are expected for the next few months. Follow Newsy on Twitter Newsy_Videos for updates in your stream. Get more multisource world video news analysis from Newsy. Transcript by Newsy
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