Tomari Power Plant Shutdown Leaves Japan Without Nuclear Power
In response to a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant last March, Japan has shut down its last remaining reactor. According to a Saturday, May 5 BBC article, this leaves the nation without nuclear-generated power for the first time in over 40 years.
On Saturday, May 5, engineers inserted cadmium control rods into the reactor, part of the Tomari power plant, to halt the fission process. This absence of atomic power has prompted the mass import of fossil-fuels in order to reconcile the energy shortage. Previously, 30 percent of Japanese electricity came from nuclear energy.
The BBC states that businesses and ministers have warned of negative repercussions in manufacturing and infrastructure associated with the decision to permanently abandon nuclear power.
The government could force plants back into action if necessary, but long-term effects of the meltdown are still unknown. Presently, a 12-mile exclusion zone remains in effect around the Fukushima plant.
Hundreds of protesters waving carp-shaped banners have marched through the Japanese capital to protest further reactor operation. If Japan can meet its energy needs through summer, nuclear power may be ousted indefinitely.
Greening New York's Most Iconic Skyscraper
Owners of New York City’s Empire State Building have retrofitted the insides of the symbolic structure to be more eco-friendly. Though it is no longer the tallest tower in the Big Apple, the Empire State Building’s historicity and iconic status have put it the spotlight among the many buildings undergoing the
According to a Sunday, May 6 Reuters article, the three-year makeover has cut energy costs; introduced modern, high-tech office spaces; and attracted more high-profile tenants willing to adopt a higher rent in exchange for the new amenities.
In a Reuters interview, architectural expert Bill Worthen,stated that for the next half century architects will cater mainly to works already built, instead of imagining new structures. The retrofitting industry promises yields of up to $6 billion for projects completed in public sector buildings alone, with the commercial industry possibly having double that measure of potential. The industry is also estimated to create 100,000 jobs.