SENDAI ― Japan has restarted its second nuclear power plant reactor since the shutdown of the nuclear energy program caused by the Fukushima crisis in 2011.
An image of the reactors at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant. Photo courtesy: WMC
Kyushu Electric Power Company said it restarted the No.2 reactor at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant, located in Kagoshima prefecture, on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu.
The two reactors were built in 1985 and 1986, and were shut down after a series of stress tests that revealed the plants would be not able to withstand tsunami-waves of a height of 13 to 15 meters
In reaction to the announcement, about 70 anti-nuclear protesters gathered in front of Sendai Nuclear Power Plant.
The protesters held signs that read, “We must never forget the accident that happened in Fukushima”, and “It’s unacceptable that they restarted the plant without establishing evacuation plans in case of emergency.”
In August this year, the No. 1 reactor at the same place was restarted. These units are now under what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government calls “the world’s toughest” safety measures.
According to a survey on restarting the nuclear power plants conducted by NHK this month, 18 per cent of respondents said they were for restarting the reactors and 43 per cent said they were against it.
As the opponents outnumbers the proponents, the government and electric power companies are required to provide sufficient explanation with the citizens and improve safety and disaster prevention.