Without Nuclear Power, Japan CO2 Emissions Rise
By Mari Iwata
Japan’s greenhouse-gas emissions climbed to their second-highest level on record in the last fiscal year, mainly because the country used more fossil fuels to make up for the loss of power produced by nuclear plants, all of which are now offline.
Japan produced the equivalent of 1.207 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in the year ended March 2013, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Wednesday. That was up 2.8% from the previous year, 7.4% higher than the year right before the Fukushima nuclear accident, and 14% more than fiscal 1990-1991, the benchmark year for the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for cuts in CO2 emissions.
The only good news was that the country managed to avoid setting a new record, emitting slightly less than 1.218 billion tons of fiscal 2007-2008, the year before the onset of the global financial crisis.
Since the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, Japanese utilities have kept their reactors offline following compulsory shutdowns for maintenance every 13 months. The last operating reactor, located in the town of Oi in western Fukui prefecture, went offline in mid-September.
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