Smoke rises from the Sendai nuclear power plant in Japan.

The Sendai nuclear plant is the first Japanese facility to be started after all the nuclear plants were taken offline in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. The Unit 1 reactor was started on August 11. It was expected that energy would be produced from it by Friday. Smoke started coming out of it on Saturday. (link)

Here is a video a citizen took at the gates of the plant. You can skip to the 20:00 mark.

Shooting location is 31.828774, point of 130.192194. (Google map, check their street view.)

Photographer has reportedly dosimeter has risen to 0.2μSv / h.

By location, depending on the viewing angle that is, rather than the color of the smoke has been changed, the color of the smoke itself is changing.

Smoke generation location, it is estimated that exits from the front of the Unit 1 turbine building around. (Unit 1 from the front, Unit 2 of the order.) (link)

The opening of this nuclear plant was widely protested by citizen groups. The Kyushu Electric Power Co. was criticized for not addressing volcano issues from the nearby Sakurajima volcano.

But the utility has not designated a site for relocating nuclear fuel in the event of a massive volcanic eruption, claiming that warning signs would give Kepco enough time to prepare and transfer the fuel.

The utility and the Nuclear Regulation Authority have also decided there is little chance of a major volcanic eruption in the next several decades.

In the event of a major eruption, however, pyroclastic flows could reach the plant and disable cooling functions for its reactors and spent fuel, which could trigger massive radioactive emissions.

There are five major calderas around the Sendai plant, suggesting that massive eruptions have occurred there.

The plant currently stores 1,946 fuel assemblies in spent fuel pools. The sheer volume makes it hard to find a relocation site big enough to take them. (link)

On Saturday a Level 4 warning was issued for the eruption of Sakurajima.

From Mining Awareness Plus,

“It is the first time that the Level 4 alert has been issued for Sakurajima since the volcanic eruption alert system was introduced in 2007.”…

“The analysis reveals that Kyushu Electric has underestimated the potential impacts of ash deposits on operations of the Sendai nuclear reactors following a major volcanic eruption. This could lead to loss of electrical power and cooling function for the reactors and a nuclear accident… 30 cm ash layers at the nuclear plant would exceed the building code for the spent fuel buildings with the risk of structural collapse.”

Whether the smoke coming out of the plant has anything to do with this, who knows. Nuclear power in Japan has been proved to be a dangerous and disastrous proposition.