08/17/2011, 00.00
JAPAN
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First nuclear reactor restarts after Fukushima disaster

The governor of the island of Hokkaido approves restart of the Tomari plant’s reactor No. 3. It is the first of a reactor back in operation after the block of 39 plants of 54 after the tsunami and the earthquake.
Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The governor of the island of Hokkaido has given his approval to the restart of the Tomari plant’s No. 3 reactor, in the south-west of the island. It 'the first time that a nuclear reactor closed for maintenance has been put back in operation since the March 11earthquake and tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima disaster. (06/07/2011 Tokyo plans new "stress test" for its nuclear facilities).

Harumi Takahashi said he had informed the Minister of Industry Banri Kaieda of his approval, it now falls to Kaieda to give formal permission. The Tomari reactor No. 3 was to resume activity in April, but the Fukushima disaster delayed its restart.

Currently only 15 of the 54 Japanese nuclear reactors are in operation, the a further 39 are still down, some because of previously planned maintenance checks, others because of special controls related to the Fukushima disaster. Before 11 March, 30 percent of Japanese electricity was supplied by nuclear reactors. To date, there are ongoing debates on nuclear energy and the possibility of closing down all nuclear power plants.
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