\\ Home Page : Articolo : Stampa
The first Japanese nuclear reactor to be restarted since the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March last year reached critical levels early on Monday morning.
By Admin (from 05/07/2012 @ 14:01:24, in en - Global Observatory, read 1485 times)

The No 3 reactor at the Oi atomic plant, in the central Japan prefecture of Fukui, was restarted on Sunday evening and should begin generating electricity on Wednesday, according to officials of Kansai Electric Power Co. The reactor is expected to start operating at full capacity from Sunday.

Restarting the plant has been hugely contentious in Japan, where there has been a public backlash against atomic energy 16 months after the second-worst nuclear accident in history.

The first Japanese nuclear reactor to be restarted since the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March last year reached critical levels early on Monday morning.

A crowd estimated at 150,000-strong protested against the restart outside the official residence of Yoshihiko Noda, the Japanese prime minister, on Friday evening, while some 100 demonstrators used cars in an attempt to block the road to the Oi plant over the weekend.
Protestors clashed briefly with police riot teams after entering the grounds of the facility.

The Japanese government and industry insists that nuclear power is needed if parts of the country are not to experience power cuts in the coming months. Energy consumption surges in Japan's notoriously hot summer months, despite efforts to encourage people to reduce the amount they use, particularly on air conditioning.

On Monday, electricity savings targets set by the government went into effect across the country. Households and businesses are being asked to cut their energy consumption by as much as 15 percent until September 7.
Utilities are still warning, however, that they may have to impose rolling blackouts in areas where demand is outstripping supply.

One of the most critical areas is the Kansai area, centered on Japan's second city of Osaka, and partly supplied by the Oi nuclear facility.
The Oi reactor is the first of Japan's 51 commercial reactors to go back on-line, although the No. 4 reactor at the plant is also scheduled to go back into operation before the end of July.

On Sunday, emergency teams at the crippled Fukushima plant managed to restore the cooling system for the spent fuel pool, where the temperature of the water had risen nearly 10 degrees after the power unit failed.

Another fault in early June had a similar effect on the pool, which contains 1,353 fuel assemblies that would release massive amounts of radiation if exposed to the air.

Source: telegraph.co.uk & agencies