USA Today – Japan’s government on Saturday approved bringing the country’s first nuclear reactors back online since last year’s earthquake and tsunami led to a nationwide shutdown, going against wider public opinion that is opposed to nuclear power after Fukushima.
Despite lingering safety concerns, the restart could speed the resumption of operations at more reactors across the country. All Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors are offline for maintenance or safety checks.
KEPCO says it will take about three weeks to get the first reactor back online. It will start the plant’s No. 3 reactor first, and the No. 4 reactor after that.
The sudden shutdown of nuclear plants has hit Japan’s economy hard.
To offset the shortfall, utilities have ramped up oil- and gas-based generation, and that contributed to the country’s biggest annual trade deficit ever last fiscal year. Noda and others argue that the higher cost of energy without nuclear will cost people their livelihoods and could cripple recovery efforts.
Translation of Yomiuri article – KEPCO, 16 pm to undertake preparatory work such as cleaning of the pipe running again for Unit 3. Including power generation on the Fourth of July in the shortest, to full operation on July 8. Unit 3 has been running after, started to Unit 4, to start the generator on July 20 at the earliest. To full operation with two if all goes well, the July 24, I expected to be as late as August 2, at the earliest.