Kyushu Electric Power restarts reactor operations – Utilities still using cost of keeping nuke plants shut down as main reason for restart

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Kyushu Electric Power Co. on Nov. 1 restarted the No. 4 reactor at its Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture, the first resumption of reactor operations in Japan since the March 11 earthquake.

The reactor, which was automatically shut down on Oct. 4 due to equipment trouble caused by human error, is expected to reach full capacity on Nov. 4, company officials said.

Kyushu Electric Power concluded that the words of the mayor and the governor showed it has obtained the understanding of the people to resume operations–even though a company official said it wasn’t needed.

“In a sense, the consent of local governments or the people is unnecessary,” Naoyuki Toyoshima, a senior official of the utility, said at a news conference that started at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1.

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