13 Avril 2017
April 13, 2017
A university in Osaka has restarted its nuclear reactor designed for research for the first time in 3 years. The restart will allow the school to recommence practical training.
It's the first research reactor in Japan to go back online under more stringent regulations introduced by the government after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident. 21 other similar facilities remain offline.
The reactor at Kindai University's Atomic Energy Research Institute has a maximum output of 1 watt, the lowest in Japan.
Due to the stricter safety requirements, the university hasn't been able to use the reactor since it was taken offline in 2014 for scheduled inspections.
After implementing measures under the new regulations, the institute restarted the reactor on Wednesday afternoon. It achieved criticality in about 25 minutes.
Experts say education in nuclear power engineering is vital to keep reactors in Japan running and to decommission them.
They say the offline state of Japan's research reactors has made it harder to encourage students to study nuclear engineering.
Apart from Kindai University's facility, only 2 other research reactors in Japan have so far passed government screening to be restarted.