Japan restarts Genkai nuclear reactor after 7yr halt despite locals’ protest (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Japan restarts Genkai nuclear reactor after 7yr halt despite locals’ protest (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Hundreds of local residents have protested outside Genkai power plant in Japan, in a last-ditch effort aimed at preventing the Genkai power plant from restarting on Friday, after a seven-year break in operations.

Throughout this week locals living on 17 islands within a 30-kilometer radius of the Genkai plant have been staging protests trying to convince the government not to restart Kyushu Electric Power Co's Number 3 Unit Genkai power plant. Fearing for their safety, the locals continued to voice their concerns over the lack of established evacuation procedures, should anything go wrong with the reactor.

At present, there are no bridges connecting the islets with the main island of Kyushu, so any potential nuclear incident would leave locals stranded for a while, waiting to be rescued. “An accident could deprive nearby residents of everything in their lives. We should not operate a nuclear plant that threatens our lives,” the head of one of the local activist groups, Kenichi Arakawa, was quoted as saying by Japan Today.

Despite concerns from the locals, the reactor was restarted at 11am local time on Friday, after passing the Nuclear Regulation Authority inspection in January. Kyushu Electric Power Co's Number 3 unit reactor was halted in December 2010, three months before the massive earthquake and tsunami, which destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

READ MORE: Lethal radiation amounts still detected at crippled Fukushima plant 7yrs after disaster

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