Sunday, October 25, 2015

Japan started pre-operational inspections for Takahama 4 nuclear power plant.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is to begin pre-operational inspections Oct. 21 for Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama 4 nuclear power plant. The inspections are the final regulatory requirement to be met prior to restart. The inspections for sister plant Takahama 3 began Aug. 17. However, Takahama 3 and 4 are the subject of a court injunction against their restart, an appeal of which will be heard at a Nov. 14 hearing at Nagoya High Court.
Of Japan’s 43 operable reactors, 21 are undergoing NRA safety reviews. Kansai EPC President Makoto Yagi is scheduled to meet NRA commissioners Oct. 27 to discuss which of the company’s seven reactors for which it has applied for safety reviews should be prioritized.
Meanwhile, Kyushu EPC’s Sendai 2, which restarted last week, has begun supplying electricity to the grid. The reactor is ramping up power, and expects to enter full-power commercial operations in mid-November. 
Kyushu Restarts Sendai 2
Kyushu Electric Power Co. restarted its Sendai 2 nuclear energy facility in Kagoshima prefecture, the second reactor to restart since the introduction of new post-Fukushima regulatory standards.
The 846-megawatt pressurized water reactor was restarted 10:30 a.m. local time Oct. 15. It will be connected to the grid Oct. 21 and is expected to reach full power by early November. Commercial operations should begin mid-November after a final inspection by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority.
Sendai 1, also an 846-MW PWR, was restarted Aug. 11 and resumed commercial operation in September. The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan reported that the reactor generated more than 671,000 megawatt-hours of electricity in September, for a capacity factor of 104.7 percent for the month.
Of Japan’s 43 operable reactors, the next one likely to restart is Shikoku Electric’s Ikata 3. The Ikata Town assembly and Ehime prefectural assembly both approved the restart, but the NRA’s final pre-service inspection has not begun. Meanwhile, Kansai Electric’s post-Fukushima construction and operational safety plans for its Takahama 3 and 4 reactors have passed NRA review. The company has asked the NRA to conduct pre-startup inspections prior to loading fuel into the reactors, pending a Nov. 14 court hearing to lift a temporary ban issued by Fukui District Court. Depending on the outcome of the hearing, Takahama 3 could restart late December and Takahama 4 early next year.
Japan’s government said in May it wants up to a 22 percent nuclear share in the country’s energy mix by 2030, down from about 30 percent before the Fukushima accident.

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