Japan restarts nuclear reactor after 2 years

3rd nuclear reactor at Ikata nuclear power plant was shut over safety concerns.

Japan restarts nuclear reactor after 2 years

Japan on Thursday restarted one of the nuclear reactors closed for two years due to regular safety checks and a court order.

The number 3 nuclear reactor at Ikata nuclear power plant, run by Shikoku Electric Power Co., is based in western Ehime province and was banned from operations by Hiroshima High Court in January last year over safety concerns.

It was closed in December 2019 for safety checks, Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.

The same court overturned its order early this year in March, paving way for the resumption of the nuclear reactor.

The 2020 court ruling had pointed out that “the rules and risk assessment of Shikoku Electric and the Nuclear Regulation Authority regarding a possible disastrous eruption of Mt. Aso about 130 kilometers (80 miles) away were inadequate.”

Shikoku Electric had raised an objection against the court order and won it.

The company delayed the restart of the reactor after “one of its staff on night duty at the Ikata plant went to a gas station outside the facility without permission on five occasions between 2017 and 2019, breaching safety regulations,” the report said.

However, the company was granted approval to restart the operations by Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura after Shikoku Electric provided “all its staff on night duty with smartphones featuring global positioning system functions in order to prevent the recurrence of such an incident.”

Hüseyin Demir