World / Asia-Pacific

Japan to bring first nuke plant online since Fukushima disaster

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-11 10:06

Japan to bring first nuke plant online since Fukushima disaster

A protester (C) stands in front of a line of barricades as security personnel stand guard during a rally against the restarting of the plant in front of an entrance gate of Kyushu Electric Power's Sendai nuclear power station in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan, August 7, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Monday it will restart operations at its Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture on Tuesday, making the plant the first to be brought back online following new safety regulations in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns.

Amid sizable antinuclear protests at the company's headquarters and around the site of the No. 1 reactor at the plant located on the southwestern main island of Kyushu, scheduled to be restarted Tuesday, the utility maintained the reactor was safe and would start generating power and distributing electricity on Friday, although transmission to the grid is scheduled to be ramped up in mid-August with an eye on full commercial operation in early September.

The reboot of the reactor will involve the control rods being removed at around 10:30 am on Tuesday, which will allow the process of nuclear fission to begin. The reactor, providing there are no problems, will reach criticality after about 12 hours, Kyushu Electric Power Co. said.

The utility also said it carried out final inspections of the control rods on Monday, and having become the first nuclear power plant in Japan to pass the stricter nuclear safety standards last September, will be the first power company to fire up a reactor in one year and 11 month since the last of the nation's reactors were taken off line for safety checks, following the Fukushima disaster, which was the worst commercial nuclear cataclysm since Chernobyl in 1986.

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