With all but one of the Japanese nuclear plants offline (and the last one due to shut down in early May), how are the utilities continuing to meet demand? I read in various places statements such as "Japan has been importing unprecedented amounts of coal, oil and natural gas, resulting in rising costs for consumers as well as rising carbon emissions." I wonder, where is this coal, oil, and nat gas coming from? What proportion of these fuels is being used? And mostly, I wonder where it is being burned. I understood that the 50 some nuclear units had been providing 30 to 35% of the electric generation. Did Japan really have that many idle coal, oil, and gas-fired units that were not being run when the nuclear units were on line? I suppose most of this capacity had been available for peaking; what is going to happen when the peaks come this summer and all of the units are already maxed out meeting the base load? Sorry if this is really not a 'nuclear engineering' question, but it seems most readers interested in the ongoing events in Japan might be found here.