by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Feb 26, 2016
A Japanese utility on Friday said it started up a nuclear reactor, the fourth to come back online following a nationwide shutdown after the March 2011 tsunami disaster.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and utility companies have been pushing to get reactors back in operation nearly five years after a huge earthquake and tsunami caused a disastrous meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.
The accident forced all of Japan's dozens of reactors offline for about two years in the face of public worries over the safety of nuclear technology and fears about radiation exposure.
But Abe, who came to power nearly two years after the 2011 disaster, has pushed the resumption of nuclear power as a vital part of the country's energy policy.
Kansai Electric Power resumed operations of its No. 4 reactor at the Takahama plant, 380 kilometres (236 miles) west of Tokyo, the Osaka-based company said on its website.
Earlier this month, the operator was forced to suspend part of the preparation process after some 34 litres (8.8 gallons) of cooling water containing radioactive substances leaked out from the reactor.
"But we resumed resumption work as we concluded that a bolt had not been tightened properly," a company spokesman said.
Last month, another reactor at Kansai Electric Power's Takahama plant was switched on, amid stiff opposition from local residents.
The region's Fukui District Court in December overturned an injunction preventing a restart of the two reactors which had been won by residents, who argued it was not proven to be safe despite a green light from the national Nuclear Regulation Authority.
Two reactors in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima, operated by Kyushu Electric Power, restarted in August and October of last year, ending the two-year hiatus in nuclear power generation.
Despite official assurances, many Japanese remain wary and thousands of former residents have refused to return to areas hit by the Fukushima meltdown over fears of radiation exposure.
Nuclear Power News - Nuclear Science, Nuclear Technology
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|