Takahama No. 2 nuclear reactor restarted after 12-year halt


Kansai Electric Power on Friday rebooted its nearly 50-year-old No. 2 reactor at the Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture for the first time since 2011, marking the 12th unit to be restarted in the country since the Fukushima meltdowns.

The restart means the Osaka-based utility has resumed operating all of its seven reactors after stricter safety standards were introduced following the nuclear meltdown crisis that occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 complex, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The Takahama No. 2 unit began commercial operations in 1975 and is the second-oldest in Japan following the 48-year-old No. 1 unit at the same plant, which was restarted in July after a 12-year halt.

The restart of the aging reactors comes as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government is stressing reliance on nuclear power generation in a bid to cut carbon emissions and ensure stable sources of energy, despite the Fukushima accident.

Parliament in May enacted a bill to allow nuclear reactors in the country to be operated beyond the current limit of 60 years.

Kansai Electric plans to restart power generation and transmission at the No. 2 reactor on Wednesday before resuming commercial operations on Oct. 16.

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