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Japan restarts first nuclear reactor after Fukushima crisis

July 1, 2012 - Tokyo

Japan on Sunday will restart a reactor at the Oi nuclear power plant in western Japan, marking the first such move since last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster forced all of its reactors to be shut down for checkup.

Kansai Electric Power Co. plans to pull out control rods that have contained fission reactions from 9 p.m. Sunday at the No. 3 reactor of the plant in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast, according to local media.

The No. 3 reactor of the plant will begin power transmission as early as Wednesday and resume full operation on July 8, according to the power company.

The restart of reactors goes ahead as planned despite protest against such move was staged nationwide.

Japanese government approved the restart of two reactors on June 16 to tackle power shortage during the summertime.

Following the No. 3 reactor, the plant's No. 4 reactor is set to be put back into full service in late July.

The restart of the 1.18-million-kilowatt No. 3 reactor will help reduce the utility's projected power shortage from 14.9 percent to 9.2 percent in its service area this summer, according to reports.

Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on the Pacific coast in northeastern Japan was crippled by a major earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011, triggering the worst radioactive leakage in history.

Japan's 30 percent of electricity relies on generation of nuclear power. (Xinhua-ANI)


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