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Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

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Published on May 5, 2012

Japan has begun the shutdown process for its last nuclear reactor, making it nuclear energy free for the first time in more than 40 years.

All 54 reactors have been temporarily shut down for safety checks, but are subject to public approval before they are restarted.

In Tokyo, hundreds of people have rallied to demand that all of the plants remain permanently closed. They say that last year's Fukushima nuclear meltdown, which came after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, showed that the risks are simply too high.

Before the disaster, nuclear power supplied a third of Japan's electricity.

Al Jazeera's Mike Firn, reporting from a nuclear plant at Oi, takes a closer look at the debate on nuclear power.

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