Thousands of people protested in Japan over the weekend as the first reactor at the Ohi nuclear plant was restarted. The controversial decision comes just sixteen months after the earthquake and tsunami that caused radioactive leakage, and has been labelled the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
Despite protests in Japan and across the world during the last couple of weeks, the first reactor at the plant, no.3, has now been turned on and the others are set to follow throughout the week.
On Friday thousands of people protested in Tokyo outside Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence. Estimates in the number of people who attended differ significantly, some suggesting around 7,000, others as much as 200,000.
Yesterday (Sunday) as the reactor was turned on hundreds gathered outside the plant, blocking roads. However, their action was to no avail as reactor no.3 was activated at approximately 9pm local time.
The decision to begin using nuclear power once more has divided public opinion, and lead to a rare instance of dissent in Japan. The government have defended their position arguing that the step was essential to boost the economy and prevent shortage of energy during the summer.
Photograph via @hiro_moriya