• Kyodo

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Kyushu Electric Power Co. stopped generating electricity at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture on Saturday after a steam leak was detected in a reactor the previous day.

The utility said that no radiation leaked and that it will inspect the reactor, which resumed operation just a week ago.

According to Kyushu Electric, at around 7 p.m. Friday staff discovered steam leaking from the pipe of a device used to remove oxygen and other dissolved gases from feedwater used in steam generators.

Reactor 3 resumed operation on March 23 after being offline for over seven years amid concerns about how to evacuate residents near the plant in a serious accident. It resumed power generation two days later.

Kyushu Electric said its plan to restart reactor 4 in May could be delayed in light of the problem.

Reactor 3 unit was suspended for a regular inspection in December 2010, three months before the March 2011 quake and tsunami sparked the man-made crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

It cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety screening in January 2017 under stricter, post-Fukushima regulations and was later approved for reactivation by both the Genkai Municipal Government and the Saga Prefectural Government.

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