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Thursday, 6th May 2010
In Events In Japan,

Japanese reactor opens after 14-year shutdown

A Japanese nuclear reactor has been started again after being shut down for more than 14 years, the country's Atomic Energy Agency has announced.

The Monju facility was closed in 1995 following a fire which caused high levels of damage to the reactor. No one was injured or killed and no radiation leaked but the operators of the plant were heavily criticised for allegedly covering up the scale of the damage.

Monju's operators were accused of hiding tapes showing the true damage caused by the accident.

The reactor is powered by plutonium instead of the more conventionally chosen uranium and is located near the town of Tsuruga, a fishing area in the north.

The start up has led to criticism from the Citizens' Nuclear Information Center. In a statement, the group said: "It is a great irony that Monju is being restarted when unprecedented international attention is being given to nuclear security," reported the Associated Press.

Written by Mark Smith.