Japenese automakers will work on weekends to protect power grid

Japan is still struggling to repair itself in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the country's auto industry is looking to help out wherever it can. Automotive News reports that automakers and suppliers will work weekends and take off Thursdays and Fridays in an effort to ease pressure on the nation's power grid. The March 11 earthquake wiped out eight percent of the country's overall electricity capacity, which means that a lot of folks in Japan will need to cut back on consumption during peak summer months.

The auto industry is looking to reduce its electricity use by 15 percent over the summer. The plants will adhere to the new schedule from July through September.

A big part of Japan's energy woes has to do with the closure of the heavily damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, but the facility isn't the only one to close. Chubu Electric Power Co. shut down its nuclear plant to bolster its foundation in preparation for later earthquakes. A government study shows that a magnitude eight earthquake has an 87-percent chance of hitting the region in the next 30 years.

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