Five years on, Fukushima is still an exclusion zone and tens of thousands are stuck in temporary shelter. Japan shut down all but two of its 43 reactors over safety concerns. And other countries have recently sped up efforts to replace nuclear power with greener renewables. Germany plans to close all 17 of its nuclear plants by 2022, a process that has already begun. France passed a bill last year mandating that the share of nuclear power in the country’s electricity mix be cut from 75% to 50% within ten years. Meanwhile commodity prices have slumped, resulting in a cut to wholesale electricity prices. That makes it harder for many nuclear plants to cover their running costs, also leading to closures. Where markets are freer, it is harder for nuclear-power operators to make money, and too risky for them to build costly plants from scratch.
Economist 10th March 2016 read more »