Mayoral blessing for Japanese restart

04 July 2011

The mayor of Genkai in southwestern Japan, Hideo Kishimoto, has given his approval to the restart of Kyushu Electric Power Company's Genkai units 2 and 3. The units were off line for periodic inspections at the time of the 11 March earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and their restart has been postponed. Units 1 and 4 at the plant were not in outage at the time of the earthquake and have continued to operate. Some 20 of Japan's 54 nuclear reactors were off line for planned maintenance as of 11 March and have not yet been allowed to restart. Japan's economy, trade and industry minister Banri Kaieda recently highlighted the need for Japanese prefectural governors to allow such plants to resume operations. A restart of the Genkai units will require the agreement of the governor of Saga Prefecture, Yasushi Furukawa. If permission is granted, the two Genkai units would be the first Japanese reactors to restart following the 11 March natural disasters.

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