Japan's nuclear switch-off 日本關閉最後一個核電站

更新時間 2013年 9月 20日, 星期五 - 格林尼治標準時間08:55

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Some household electricity bills are now 30% higher

日本最後一個運作核電站被關閉。這個核電站位於日本西部,雖說是為了維修而關閉,但卻沒有宣佈該核電站將於何時重新啟動。這一宣佈充分說明核能在日本的重要性正在改變。在日本福島核洩漏事故之前日本曾經是世界上使用核能最多的國家之一。以下是 BBC記者 John McManus 發回的報道:

The reactor in Ohi is one of only two in Japan that's been operational since July 2012. Reactor No 3 at the site was taken offline nearly a fortnight ago, and now the operators of Reactor No 4 have begun shutting it down too.

The plant's owners are amongst four companies who want to restart their reactors in the future, observing new safety guidelines. But the memories of the accidents at Fukushima in 2011 have left most Japanese people opposed to nuclear power.

The country's prime minister, though, wants to bring nuclear energy in from the cold. Shinzo Abe says that Japan can't carry on paying the high costs of importing gas and oil, in order to keep the country's lights on.

Some household electricity bills are now 30% higher than before the Fukushima accident, and analysts think the rises are set to continue. And the price of importing more energy from abroad has helped to inflate Japan's trade deficit.

Yet even if every nuclear reactor was brought back online many of them are reaching the end of their 40-year lives, which means a decision will have to be made about whether to replace them.

Quiz 聽力測驗

1. Why are most Japanese people opposed to nuclear power?

They fear accidents such as the one in Fukushima in 2011.

2. Who wants to make nuclear power more acceptable?

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

3. What is the impact of the closure of nuclear plants on Japanese households?

Household electricity bills are now up to 30% higher.

4. How long do nuclear reactors work for?

Forty years.

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