17 Novembre 2015
November 17, 2015
Nov. 17, 2015 - Updated 12:53 UTC+1
The number 2 reactor at Kyushu Electric Power Company's Sendai nuclear plant in southwestern Japan has resumed commercial operations.
It is the second one in the country to restart under new regulations that took effect following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis. The first reactor to go online was the number 1 unit at the same plant.
On Tuesday, inspectors from the nuclear regulator's secretariat conducted final pre-service checkups in the plant's control room. They looked at the reactor's temperatures, as well as the condition of a steam generator and other equipment.
The officials later issued a certificate to prove the completion of the inspection saying no abnormalities had been found.
The reactor returned to commercial operation at 4 PM after more than 4 years.
It had been offline following a routine inspection 6 months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. It was turned on last month, and was undergoing a check by the regulator.
FUKUOKA – Kyushu Electric Power Co. began full-scale commercial operations Tuesday of the second reactor at its two-unit nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture after clearing final inspections by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
The No. 1 unit at the Sendai plant returned to commercial service Sept. 10, the first under safety regulations adopted in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Reactor 2 at the plant is the second.
The NRA’s final inspection lasted two days. The No. 2 reactor was restarted Oct. 15 and began power generation and transmission Oct. 21. Output was raised gradually until the reactor reached full capacity Nov. 1.
Before the two units were reactivated, no electricity was generated in Japan with nuclear power for nearly two years as all commercial reactors were gradually taken offline amid safety concerns in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima meltdowns.
The Abe administration is pushing nuclear power as a key electricity source and is promoting the restart of idled reactors across the country even though public sentiment remains strongly negative.
Besides the two-unit Sendai plant, two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture and one reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture have obtained the necessary safety clearance.
The reactor at the Ikata plant is expected to be reactivated next year after local authorities agreed last month to the restart.
Stricter safety regulations for nuclear reactors were adopted after they were brought to a standstill in the wake of the catastrophe at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant in 2011.