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Energy is the general term for any source of useable power such as electricity and coal that makes machines work or provides heat. Power is energy ( especially electricity) that comes from a source of fuel and is used to operate lights, machinery, etc.
1) Renewable energy - Wind power / hydro-electric power / sea power / solar power / wave power and bio fuels.
2) Non-renewable - Coal / oil / nuclear power / fossil fuels.
3) Carbon-based - Coal / oil /fossil fuels / bio fuels.
4) Non-carbon-based - Wind power / energy / hydro-electric / sea power / solar power and nuclear power.
All of these different sources of energy and power are not as efficient as nuclear power, especially with Japan's rising energy needs and costs. People who live and work near these mammoth reactors benefit from having cheaper rents and electricity costs as well. Japan will eventually bring back online most of their reactors in the future, and they are safe, especially with new regulatory measures put in place to ensure safety. The locals up in Niigata are not bothered by the presence of a nuclear power station.
Niigata is site of the world's first ABWR ( Advanced Boiling Water Reactor) nuclear power plant on the coast of the Sea of Japan, where it gets its cooling water. It used to be the largest nuclear generating station in the world. ABWR is a Generation III boiling water reactor which generates electrical power by using steam to power a turbine connected to a generator. Steam is then boiled from water using heat generated by fission reactions within the nuclear fuel, therefore making this unit a light water reactor. Fission reactions within the nuclear fuel is what boils the water to create steam. ABWR reactors were funded and offered by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Toshiba, the first reactor of its kind, to the world, and are state of the art. Unfortunately, TEPCO runs and operates Kashiwa Power Station.
The Kashiwa Plant has been in operation since 1996, but has only produced 30% of its output, so hardly any power has ever actually been produced by this plant. However, at 90% operational capacity it would be one of the most, if not, the most power nuclear power station in the world. Full capacity may have been achieved once before the 2007 Chuetsu offshore quake, in which afterwards the plant was shut down for several years and then restarted.
In order to get a layman's idea of potentially how powerful this nuclear station is, imagine Godzilla waking up from a thousand year hibernation and then walking through the streets of downtown Tokyo and stepping on a power line, on purpose. He would get zapped with 50,000 volts or more of electricity, which in turn would cause widespread power outages all over the capitol. The shock alone would have very little affect on him, and would probably piss him off just a little. Contrast that with Kashiwa Power Station and imagine him stepping on their power lines! He would literally explode into a ball of flames just from the over capacity in his tail, lighting him up like a Christmas tree. Another analogy would be Fukushima Daichi playing with sillyputty made from strontium 8, while at Kashiwa, they probably produce strontium 8 by the truck loads. Okay. A highly unscientific and a poor example, but you get my point.
The relative safely and calm of living in a community like Kashiwa far outweigh the fear of a nuclear meltdown. And since the plant operates at an extremely low capacity, barely producing 30% of its overall capacity makes it even safer. Most locals here are actually proud of it and always remind tourist to take a look at it.