On Saturday, June 16, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced the decision to approve the restart of two nuclear reactors in the Fukui prefecture, for the first time since the Fukushima accident, as reported by Mainichi Japan.
Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa gave his consent to restart the reactors earlier that same day (June 16). Kansai Electric Power Co. is now in the process of preparing the reactors for restart. Ohi 3 is expected to reach full power on July 8 and Ohi 4 on July 24.
Nishikawa said the restart would “ensure the stability of people’s lives and industries in Kansai,” according to the Mainichi article.
Recently, a science panel convened by the Governor concluded that Kansais Ohi reactors could be safely operated, which was the last obstacle for approval of the restarts.
The two Oi reactors are set to become the first in the country to be restarted since the Fukushima accident last year, triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan.
“Since the last of the 50 operational commercial reactors in Japan went offline on May 6 for checks, all reactors in the country have stopped operating for the first time since 1970, raising concerns over power shortages this summer. Before the Fukushima crisis, nuclear power used to supply about 30 percent of Japan’s electricity,” reported Mainichi.