For the first time in four decades, there is no nuclear power coursing through Japan's electrical veins! All 50 nuclear reactors that had remained operational there, in the wake of last year's March 11 quake
and tsunami super-special-combo disaster, are currently shut down. The last of them to go offline today, "for mandatory routine maintenance", was the Tomari nuclear plant's third reactor (the other two had been halted earlier).
This joyous moment for the nation's largely nuke-o-phobic population coincided with their celebration of Children's Day, also on May 5. As such, the traditional "Koinobori"
fish-shaped banners normally displayed for Children's Day have become somewhat of an anti-nuclear symbol, as thousands of people marched
and rejoiced this "nuke-free" day.
Some - probably most - of the reactors will eventually be restarted, after they pass the newly adopted safety tests, and after they gain the approval of local residents. Understandably, many such residents want them back (along with their jobs and other benefits), and one could easily argue about the economical benefits of having them back, indeed (seeing how a third of Japan's electricity used to come from nuclear plants, before last year's quake).
But the question is: can nuclear power be made much, much
more safe and efficient, so we - humankind, that is - can finally get rid of those damn fossil fuels?... And the answer is yes, certainly: there be Thorium