The Kyushu Electric Power Company in Japan restarted its Genkai Unit 3 reactor late last week, making it the seventh reactor to resume operations since the nationwide moratorium was imposed on nuclear power following the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Generating Station.
The restart was preceded by safety and security upgrades required and by a lengthy process that includes approval by regulators and by civic authorities. The restart itself was accompanied by protests outside the plant. About 100 protesters attended the restart, according to Nuclear Engineering International.
The reactor, the third one restarted by Kyushu Electric, is expected to resume commercial operations in late April after a seven-year hiatus. The company has already restarted the Sendai Unit 1 and 2 reactors in the Kagoshima Prefecture – the first two to resume operations following the moratorium – which were restarted in 2015.
Also operating after safety upgrades were made are the Kansai Electric Company's Ohi Unit 3 reactor, which resumed operations on March 14, Shikoku Electric Company's Ikata Unit 3, and Kansai Electric's Takahama Units 3 and 4.
In addition, Kyushu has scheduled the restart of Genkai Unit 4 for sometime in May. Additionally, 18 other reactors are going through the approval process for potential restarts.
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