TOKYO (AP) - For the first time in four decades, Japan is without electricity from nuclear power.
The last of the country's 50 nuclear reactors has been shut down for what's described as mandatory routine maintenance. But since last year's earthquake and tsunami led to meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi (foo-koo-SHEE'-mah dy-EE'-chee) plant, no nuclear reactor in Japan has been restarted after being shut down for a checkup.
Thousands of Japanese marched today to celebrate the switching off of the Tomari nuclear plant on the northern island of Hokkaido (hoh-ky-doh). The event coincides with Children's Day in Japan, and anti-nuclear activists say that's fitting because they're concerned about protecting children from radiation.
But the mayor of the town where the reactor was shut down calls it "extremely regrettable."
Some people want the plants back in operation because of jobs, subsidies and other benefits to the local economy.
The Japanese government has warned of blackouts and rising carbon emissions as Japan is forced to turn to oil and gas for energy.
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