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Japan's First Nuclear Reactor Starts Operation After Fukushima Disaster

© REUTERS / Issei Kato/FilesNo.1 (L) and No.2 reactor buildings are pictured at Kyushu Electric Power's Sendai nuclear power station in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan, July 8, 2015.
No.1 (L) and No.2 reactor buildings are pictured at Kyushu Electric Power's Sendai nuclear power station in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan, July 8, 2015. - Sputnik International
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Japan's Kyushu Electric resumes commercial operations of its Sendai nuclear power plant four years after the Fukushima disaster.

A building covering the Unit 1 reactor (L) is removed by a crane at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan on November 12, 2014 - Sputnik International
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TOKYO, September 10 (Sputnik) – Japan’s Sendai nuclear power plant resumed commercial operations at the first of several reactors four years after the Fukushima disaster, its operator announced Thursday.

"We hereby announce that Sendai Nuclear Power Unit No.1 has returned to commercial operation at 16:00 [07:00 GMT] today after finishing all of the pre-service inspection and the comprehensive inspection," Kyushu Electric said.

The power company resumed electricity generation at Sendai’s first unit in mid-August amid widespread protests in the southwest city of Satsumasendai in Kagoshima Prefecture. Greenpeace had said at the time Kyushu ignored major safety risks, including seismic and volcanic analyses.

The unit has been working in trial mode until the new announcement.

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. - Sputnik International
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The resumption is the first of Japan’s 48 nuclear reactors shut down after meltdowns on March 11, 2011 of the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s reactors, during a tsunami triggered by a massive offshore earthquake.

Up to 30 percent of Japan’s electricity was provided by nuclear energy before the disaster. The complete elimination of the disaster's consequences, including the dismantling of the damaged reactors, is expected to take an estimated 40 years.

Kyushu provides power to eight Japanese prefectures and operates two nuclear power plants in the country, including at Sendai.

Sendai’s second reactor is scheduled to be restarted next month.

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