An aging nuclear reactor in Fukui Prefecture was restarted Wednesday, becoming the country's first nuclear unit to operate beyond the government-mandated 40-year service period introduced under new rules set after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Kansai Electric Power Co. said it began operating the No. 3 unit at the Mihama plant for the first time in about 10 years, after completing final inspections. The reactor had stopped operations after the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

However, the Mihama No. 3 unit, which began commercial operation in 1976, is expected to be halted in about four months before the Oct. 25 deadline for the implementation of counterterrorism measures which Kansai Electric is unlikely to meet, according to the company.