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Utility hopes to reactivate reactor on August 10th

Nuclear & Energy

A nuclear power plant operator in southern Japan hopes to restart one of its reactors next month. It would be the first to operate under new regulations introduced after the Fukushima accident.

Kyushu Electric Power Company told the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday that it plans to reactivate the Number One reactor of the Sendai plant on August 10th at the earliest.

The company will carry out final checks on the reactor to make sure the containment vessel has no leaks and cooling equipment functions properly. Officials will also check procedures for reactivating the reactor.

The 2-reactor plant in Kagoshima Prefecture last year became the first nuclear power plant to meet the new regulations.

Kyushu Electric loaded fuel into the reactor earlier this month. Officials held an emergency drill this week, employing the scenario that a cooling system malfunction causes nuclear fuel to start melting down.

The government newly added this drill to a list of tests required to restart nuclear power plants.

The utility says when the reactor is once again operational, it will sustain a nuclear chain reaction in about 15 hours and start generating power in 3 days' time.

If everything goes as planned, the Sendai plant will become the first nuclear facility in the country to resume operations in almost 2 years.

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