Japan returns to Nuclear Power, 2nd reactor begins operations


TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A nuclear reactor at a plant in southwestern Japan began power generation and transmission on Wednesday, becoming the second reactor in the country to supply power to users under new safety standards introduced after the Fukushima meltdowns in 2011.

The No. 2 reactor at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture restarted operations on Thursday, following the reactivation of the No. 1 reactor at the same plant in August.

The utility aims to gradually raise the No. 2 reactor's output to reach its full capacity on Nov. 1 and start full-fledged commercial operations in early November after the facility passes final inspection by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the company said.

As the No. 1 reactor experienced trouble with its condenser in August while trying to raise output, Kyushu Electric President Michiaki Uriu said in a comment the company plans to proceed carefully to the remaining steps for the No. 2 reactor while "putting top priority on safety."