Japan Restarts First Nuclear Reactor Since Fukushima Quake

A power plant operator in southern Japan has restarted a reactor, the first to begin operating under new safety requirements following the Fukushima disaster.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Tuesday it had restarted the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant as planned. The restart marks Japan's return to nuclear energy four-and-half-years after the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan following an earthquake and tsunami.

The disaster displaced more than 100,000 people due to radioactive contamination in the area and spurred a national debate over this resource-scarce country's reliance on nuclear power.

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The Nuclear Regulation Authority affirmed the safety of the Sendai reactor and another one at the plant last September under stricter safety rules imposed after the 2011 accident.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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