Japan is to shut down a nuclear power station branded the world’s most dangerous, despite fears that the closure could affect local industry.
The Hamaoka plant in Omaezaki, south-west of Tokyo, sits near a major fault line and concern about the plant has spiked in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Japan’s prime minister Naoto Kan last week said there was an 87% chance of an 8.0 quake in the area in the next 30 years, and requested that owners Chubu Electric shut down reactors at the site.
Today the company said it would stop the operation of reactors 4 and 5 at Hamaoka. Reactor 3 was already closed and operation will not be resumed, it added. Reactors 1 and 2 were already shut down.
Restarting the reactors will wait at least until the company has built additional defences against natural disaster, including a sea wall.
The Hamaoka plants supply much of the electricity to the local region and some are worried that power outages stemming from the shut down could affect production in Japan’s industrial sector.
“This news is triggering uncertainty not just about Chubu Electric, but the whole utility sector,” Yoshinori Nagano, a senior strategist at Daiwa Asset Management, told the BBC. “Investors are concerned that on the back of this news, other reactors currently under inspection may not resume operations soon.”