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Kyushu Electric Power's Sendai nuclear power plant, the first restart of Japan’s 43 commercial reactors idled since the Fukushima disaster, is located just 50km from the Sakurajima volcano on Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost main island.

Why was the Sendai nuclear power plant restarted?

"...This is the first restart of any of Japan’s 43 operable commercial reactors since Fukushima, and it is happening despite many unresolved questions concerning nuclear safety regulations. When it comes to safety, the Sendai nuclear power plant is definitely not at the head of the class: The utility owning the power plant was given a pass despite a very problematic history. (At one point, a regulatory commissioner called the plan to restart Sendai “wishful thinking”.)

A three-pointed rationalization. The justification for a restart was based upon three key points: the type of reactors to be used at Sendai were considered inherently “safer;” the chance of a similar natural disaster(s) was considered to be minimal; and the concerns of the local communities were dismissed as inconsequential.

The real reasons for the restart. The decision to restart the reactor at Sendai is probably based upon the “dismal science:” economics.
It seems that financial considerations and worries about the health of the national and local economies triumphed over safety concerns; an article in the Japan Times says that when Kyushu Electric tried to turn to other means of generating electricity—such as thermal power—its costs more than doubled. “The huge costs have weighed heavily on its earnings. The company is aiming to shore up its earnings by reactivating idled nuclear power reactors. Kyushu Electric expects that the restart of the Sendai Number 1 reactor will save the company about 7.5 billion yen (over $60 million) per month.”

Read the full article for the details.  My eyes are on Sendai, the first of many restarts.  Restarting an idled NPP without problems is wishful thinking.  

BLACK and white smoke was seen rising from unit 1, Sendai NPP ( Aug 16th – 11:40 am)

Kyushu delays increasing output at Sendai nuclear plant after cooling system problems detected

UPDATE 1-Japan's Sendai reactor power ramp-up halted due to pump problem

Earthquakes, volcanoes, NPPs, oh my.  Ya think they'll get the message that Japan should not have restarted those reactors?  If not this quake, the next. If not this eruption, the next.  Will Sendai be next or will one of the others surprise us?  Japan should put that geo-thermal energy to work.  How many NPPs need to meltdown before they stop creating nuclear messes?  

Japan banks loaned Japan’s nuclear power cartel money to keep personnel and technology going these four and a half years and they want a return on that investment.  TEPCO will be splitting into different corporations, separating the nuclear/cleanup from other more profitable assets.  The bad corporation will then go bankrupt leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill for the cleanup of Fukushima Daiichi.  

The Japanese Meteorological Agency said:
“The possibility for a large-scale eruption has become extremely high for Sakurajima.” warning an evacuation of the city of just over 600,000 people may be necessary.
Before the alert level was raised to 4 by the Meteorological Agency, it had been set at 3, which restricts entry to the mountain area. When it was raised, the Kagoshima Municipal Government issued an evacuation advisory for areas near the mountain, affecting 77 residents. All of them had left the area by Saturday evening.
On Saturday, residents near Sakurajima evacuated to safer places after the government raised the alert level to 4 on a 5-point scale, indicating a major eruption could be imminent.
Level 4 is the highest ever for Sakurajima — which is located just 4 km across the water from the major port city of Kagoshima — since the current volcanic alert system was launched in 2007.
Seismic activity began increasing dramatically Saturday morning and data showed swelling of the mountain, the agency said.
There were 1,023 volcanic earthquakes at Mount Sakurajima, a popular tourist attraction, on Saturday. Although the number fell to 71 Sunday and 11 as of 9 a.m. Monday.

Volcano Discovery:

Watch the Sakurajima volcano live:桜島昭...麓から

Just the ash fall from a minor eruption could cause transportation/access difficulties, clogged cooling, and health risks.  I’m afraid that the nuclear cartel has found it more profitable to let a NPP melt out and let the taxpayer pay for decommission/cleanup costs than to finance a proper decommissioning out of their pocket.  

Foolish me, I thought they understood how bad nuclear fire burning out of containment would be. They promised it would never happen and they promise it will never happen again.
Quote:A powerful explosive eruption occurred at the Showa crater of Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan at 02:01 UTC on April 28, 2017 (11:01 JST). Several smaller eruptions followed.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said it is the first such eruption this year and the first of such strength since July 2016.

According to the Tokyo VAAC, the volcanic ash cloud produced by the eruption at 02:01 UTC reached an altitude of 4.3 km (14 000 feet) above sea level and drifted southeast. JMA warned similar explosive eruptions might occur in the future.

JMA maintains Level 3 (orange alert), signifying the volcano is active and should not be approached.

The last time such eruption occurred at Sakurajima was at 15:02 UTC on July 25, 2016 (00:02 JST on July 26). That eruption sent ash up to 6 km (20 000 feet) above sea level. It was the first time that the volcano spewed out smoke that high since August 18, 2013, according to the Kagoshima Meteorological Office. Before August 2013, Sakurajima erupted that high in 2006.

No mention of the nearby NPP.