Friday to restart a nuclear reactor shut down in the wake of a steam pipe explosion in August 2004 that claimed the lives of five workers.

Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa conveyed the decision in a meeting with President Shosuke Mori of Kansai Electric Power Co., the operator of the nuclear plant.

The Mihama power station is located in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture, along the Sea of Japan coast. It has three reactors with a combined output capacity of 1,666,000 kw. The explosion occurred in the 826,000-kw No. 3 reactor.

On Aug. 9, 2004, a pipe in the reactor’s turbine building ruptured, releasing superheated nonradioactive steam that killed five employees and injured six others. The pipes had not been inspected for 28 years since the reactor started in 1976. In September, Kepco replaced 97 meters of pipe at and around the accident, after finding other pipes had corroded.

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