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Japan nuclear regulator gave nod to restart work at Sendai nuclear plant

Jul 16, 2014 14:14 IST

Two nuclear reactors of Sendai plant on 15 July 2014 got a preliminary approval from Japan’s nuclear regulator to restart. The decision to restart the Sendai nuclear plant was given after it met the new standards set by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) after Fukushima disaster.

As a result, the two nuclear reactors at Sendai plant became the first two nuclear reactors in Japan since Fukushima disaster to get the approval of restarting them.

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Following this approval, the Japanese government and Sendai’s operator, Kyushu Electric Power, have agreed to a month-long public consultation period and winning agreement from local officials before giving a final nod.

Background

Japan is a country that lies in one of the world’s most seismically active areas and is always hit by powerful earthquakes. Sendai plant is located in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu in southern part of Japan. Following Fukushima disaster in 2011 that was caused by earthquake triggered tsunami, all the 48 nuclear reactors were shut down but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing for restarting them, if possible.

Fukushima disaster occurred in March 2011 when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck followed by a monster tsunami that slammed into Japan’s Pacific coastline. The tsunami left about 18000 dead. In the meantime, the huge waves swamped the Fukushima plant, sending reactors into meltdown and spewing radioactivity across the adjacent farming region.

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Although no one died as a direct result of the atomic accident, but experts warn that decommissioning of the plant could take decades and many evacuated residents may never be able to return to their homes in the shadow of the plant.

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