KANAZAWA, Ishikawa Pref. (Kyodo) Hokuriku Electric Power Co.’s No. 2 reactor at the Shiga nuclear plant in Ishikawa Prefecture, the country’s 55th commercial reactor, started up Wednesday morning after passing a final inspection by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

The 1,358-megawatt, upgraded boiling-water reactor has been doing a test run and is the first new reactor to begin operating since Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s No. 1 reactor at the Higashidori nuclear plant in Aomori Prefecture started up in December.

The maximum output of the Shiga No. 2 reactor is the second-largest in the country, next to the 1,380-mw No. 5 reactor at Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Hokuriku Electric Power proposed construction of the additional reactor to Shiga residents in 1993 and began building it in 1999.

The reactor will supply 900 megawatts, or about two-thirds of its potential output, to Kansai Electric Power Co. and Chubu Electric Power.

Residents near the No. 2 reactor have filed suit with the Kanazawa District Court demanding the reactor be halted. The court is to rule March 24.