Protesters flock to Oi Before Reactor Restart

Hundreds of out-of-town protesters gathered Sunday evening at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture in a last-ditch attempt to stop the reactivation of its No. 3 reactor.

The Oi plant is the first in the country to be reactivated after inspection since last year’s Fukushima nuclear crisis. All the nation’s commercial reactors have been offline since early May.

Kansai Electric Power Co. said it was planning to start removing the No. 3 reactor’s control rods at 9 p.m. The utility aims to achieve a sustained nuclear fission chain reaction, known as criticality, early Monday, and begin transmitting power Wednesday from the plant, which sits on the Sea of Japan coast. Full operation will likely be possible by July 8.

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20,000 Protest Outside Noda’s Home Over Nuclear Restarts

About 20,000 people gathered in front of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence in Tokyo late Friday to protest his decision to restart two nuclear reactors.“No to the restart!” shouted the protestors, who were led by investigative journalist Satoshi Kamata and Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe, who started an anti-nuclear petition that has so far gathered more than 7.5 million signatures.

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