Japan Considers Cost of Closing Reactors

Immediately shutting down Japan’s nuclear power industry would have an equally immediate and damaging effect on the nation’s economy, reported an article in the New York Times on Wednesday.

Closing the nation’s 50 reactors would result in $55.9 billion in losses for the country’s power companies and the insolvency of at least four of the companies, according to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.

Japan is debating how to move forward with its nuclear energy industry — including balancing safety concerns against economic realities — after last year’s accident at Fukushima Daiichi.

“People talk easily about shutting down Japan’s nuclear power plants, but the economic and financial consequences are severe,” Reiji Takeishi, professor in environmental economics at Tokyo International University, said to The New York Times.