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Japan: Ohi Restart Gives Breathing Space

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The Japanese government has announced it will be able to scale back energy saving targets in some areas thanks to the restart of Kansai Electric’s Ohi 3.

The 1180 MWe unit reached full capacity in the early hours of 9 July, becoming the first Japanese reactor to restart following suspension for periodic inspection since the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Its sister unit, Ohi 4, is expected to follow later this month.

Chief cabinet secretary Osama Fujimura has followed the news with an announcement that the Japanese government will be now be able to ease energy saving targets in some areas from 15% to 10%. The revised targets will go into effect from 10 July. Speaking at a press conference, he said that he expected energy savings targets to be further revised once Ohi 4 comes back on line.

Pro-restart governor re-elected

Voters in Kagoshima prefecture have seen the re-election of incumbent governor Yuichiro Ito for a third term. Ito defeated antinuclear activisit Yoshitaka Mukohara, who based his campaign on opposition to the restart of the Sendai nuclear power plant in the prefecture. Ito has said he would conditionally support the proposed restart of Kyushu’s two pressurised water reactors at Sendai, which have been kept off line since entering their scheduled outages in May and September 2011, respectively.

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