KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER RESTARTS OHI UNIT 4 REACTOR
Unit 4 at the Ohi nuclear power plant in central Japan will be reactivated imminently with expectations that the reactor will return to commercial operations in early June, Kansai Electric Power said.
The unit will be the seventh reactor to restart following the moratorium and standards upgrades following the March 2011 tsunami event that triggered a triple-meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Generating Station.
Kansai started Unit 3 at the Ohi facility in Fukui Prefecture in April. Unit 4, which is scheduled to restart at 5 p.m. Wednesday, will have been offline for four years, eight months.
Kansai had plans to restart both 1180 MWe pressurizeds water reactors in March, but the restarts, long delayed by a mandate for the plants to pass Nuclear Regulation Authority inspections, were suspended in order to assess whether or not the reactors were affected by a data falsification scandal at Kobe Steel Ltd. In October 2017, Kobe steel admitted to fabricating quality control data involving raw material sold to hundreds of companies.
Permission for the Ohi restarts was granted in August 2012, but the reactors were closed down in September 2013, according to the World Nuclear Association.
The company said last December that it had decided not to pursue restarts for the two oldest reactors at the Ohi facility, Units 1 and 2, due to the cost of returning the two older reactors to service under the stricter safety standards imposed after the Fukushima accident.
Kansai first had to submitted its plans for the safety upgrades, which were approved in August 2017.
The five other reactors that have returned to service in Japan are Kyushu’s Sendai units 1 and 2; Shikoku’s Ikata unit 3; and Kansai’s Takahama units 3 and 4.
Permission for restarts for 19 other reactors are pending regulatory approval.
The Oi Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Oi, Fukui Prefecture, managed by the Kansai Electric Power Company. (Source: Kansai Electric Power – Image: Ohi NPP/Greg Webb/IAEA)
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