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Japan:Preparations begin to resume Genkai No.4 reactor

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Laaska News  Nov. 1 ,2011

The operator of the Genkai nuclear power plant in western Japan says it has begun preparations to restart a reactor that was shut down automatically about a month ago.

Kyushu Electric Power Company announced on Monday night a plan to resume operations at the No.4 reactor. The utility said it will take several days before the reactor is fully operational again.

If restarted, it will become the first reactor in Japan to come back online since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March.

Operations at the Genkai plant’s No.4 reactor were halted on October 4th due to abnormalities in its cooling system.

In a report submitted to the government’s nuclear safety agency, the operator attributed the automatic stoppage to employees’ mistaken use of idle reactor procedures for the online No.4 reactor.

This type of stoppage does not necessitate the central government stress tests that are now required to restart idle nuclear reactors.

Kyushu Electric Power Company says that consent from the plant’s hosting municipality is also not needed to restart a reactor after this kind of stoppage, so it made the decision to bring No.4 online on its own.

But opposition to the restart is expected to be raised in municipalities around the Genkai plant amid public concerns over the safety of nuclear power generation.

Laaska News.