Kyushu Electric Power has resumed operations of the first -reactor at Sendai nuclear power station in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.
The 890MW reactor 1 is the first to restart, marking a step ahead in reviving the nuclear power industry following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which prompted shutting down all 48 nuclear plants in the country.
Since the disaster, the country has relied on fossil fuels for power generation.
In September last year, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has approved the Sendai reactors under new safety regulations. The Sendai second reactor is expected to be restarted in October.
At the Sendai plant, new safety systems have been installed with an investment of over $100m.
The Sendai unit 1 is one of the 25 nuclear reactors seeking approval to restart operations.
Planned to begin electricity production on 14 August, the 30-year-old plant is expected to reach full capacity in early September following performance assessment, the company said.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was quoted by BBC as saying that the reactors have successfully cleared the world’s toughest safety screening.
Earlier, nuclear power contributed around 30% to the electricity generation capacity in the country. Japan intends to have more than 20% of its power generation capacity from nuclear plants by 2030.
Image: The two-unit Sendai Nuclear Power Plant is owned by Kyushu Electric Power. Photo: courtesy of KEI / Wikipedia.