One of the thorniest problems facing Japan since last year’s Tohoku earthquake has been the question of what to do with its 54 operational nuclear reactors.
Before the disaster, these plants generated about 30% of Japan’s electricity, and there were plans to build another 14 reactors to increase the share of nuclear to 50% of the country’s overall power capacity by 2030.
Those plans are now in limbo. One by one, each of the country’s reactors has been switched off for routine maintenance, and has not been turned back on due to a dramatic shift in public attitudes to atomic energy.
On May 5,...