Friday, October 16, 2015

Who's afraid of nuclear power?

The Kyushu Electric Power Company reactivated its No. 2 reactor at the Sendai nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan on Thursday morning, making it the second reactor to come online under the country's stricter safety standards introduced after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, Jiji Press has reported.

At around 10:30 a.m. local time, (1:30 a.m. GMT), the company started work to remove control rods, which are used to contain nuclear fission, from the Sendai plant No. 2 unit, located in the coastal city of Satsumasendai, in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The reactor is expected to reach criticality, a self-sustained nuclear fission chain reaction, by the end of Thursday. The No. 2 unit's operation was resumed for the first time in four years and one month since it went offline for routine inspections in September 2011.

The utility plans to have the No. 2 reactor start generating and transmitting electricity by Wednesday, and to raise its output gradually to bring it back into commercial operation in mid-November. 

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