Japan nuclear plant – Japan has restarted a nuclear reactor for the first time since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
The power plant in southern Japan will be operated under new safety requirements following the Fukushima disaster. The nuclear plants across the country were gradually shut down after a series of meltdowns at the Fukushima plant ignited by the tsunami and earthquake.
Kyushu Electric Power, the chief operator company, restarted the number one reactor at the Sendai plant on Tuesday morning. Japan has turned to nuclear energy after four and half years. The reactor will take about 24 hours before a full reaction, and the plant is expected to start generating power by Friday. It is expected to reach its full capacity early next month.
Japan has been relying on imported fossil fuels for its energy since shutting down all nuclear plants. The authorities has said the reactors must resume to cut both import bills and increasing Carbon Dioxide, but the opinion polls show the opposite as majority of the people are against the move after the nuclear crisis witnessed by many four years ago.
More than 200 protestors gathered outside at the site, including former Prime Minister Naoto Kan who has become a high-profile anti-nuclear activist. The demonstrations are also being held at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s residence in Tokyo, about 1,000 km away from the plant. The activists demanded to halt its operation and asked for global support to stop nuclear power energy.
On Monday, Mr. Abe said that the reactors have passed the world’s toughest safety screening. “I would like Kyushu Electric to put safety first and take utmost precautions for the restart,” he added.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority approved two reactors at the Sendai plant last year under stricter safety standards. Another reactor is due to be restarted in October. IMAGE/Reuters