Kansai Electric Power has restarted a nuclear reactor on the Sea of Japan coast, the company said Friday, the third unit reactivated in the country under updated regulations following the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima.
Reactor 3 at Takahama Nuclear Power Station was brought back online as the operator started to lift control rods, which are used to contain nuclear fission.
The unit at Takahama, 400 kilometres west of Tokyo, is the first to generate electricity on uranium-plutonium mixed oxide fuel.
Kyushu Electric Power restarted Reactor 1 in August and Reactor 2 in October at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant on the south-western island of Kyushu.
The Sendai plant is located 50 kilometres from the active Sakurajima volcano on the island.
The other 45 reactors in Japan remain offline amid public fears of nuclear power generation following the country’s worst atomic accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station nearly five years ago.
The Fukushima plant suffered a triple meltdown after it was hit by an earthquake and tsunami. More than 100,000 residents have not been able to return home in the areas near the facilities due to radioactive contamination.