Japan: The No 4 reactor at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture on Saturday started generating and transmitting electricity, its operator Kansai Electric Power Co said.
Power transmission from the 1.18-million-kilowatt reactor will cover the Kansai area in western Japan and part of Fukui Prefecture along the Sea of Japan, the operator said, adding the reactor is expected to start full-capacity generation next Wednesday after gradually raising power output.
The reactor is the second to go back online after all of Japan's commercial reactors were taken offline for regular checks in the wake of the March 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan.
The first to resume operation was the Oi plant's No 3 reactor which was brought to full operation on July 9.
When the No 4 reactor begins full operation, the government will remove power-saving targets for Chubu Electric Power Co, Hokuriku Electric Power Co and Chugoku Electric Power Co, while further easing the target for Shikoku Electric Power Co from 7 per cent to 5 per cent.
It is considering maintaining the 10 per cent target -- recently reduced from 15 per cent -- for Kansai Electric.
The No 4 reactor was booted up Wednesday night and the following morning reached criticality -- the state at which a chain reaction of nuclear fissions becomes self-sustaining.
Its operations were idled July 22 last year for a periodic checkup. (Kyodo)
First Published: Saturday, July 21, 2012, 13:24