15 October, 2015
On October 15, the Kyushu Electric Power Co. restarted its Sendai-2 Nuclear Power Plant (PWR, 890MWe). It is the second NPP in Japan, following Sendai-1, restarting under the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s new regulatory standards, which came into effect in July 2013.
The unit was restarted at 10:30 a.m. on the 15th and was expected to achieve criticality – stable fission – at around 11:00 p.m. the same day. After the operator commences power generation, the unit will be connected to the grid on October 21, and output will be gradually increased to full in early November. After a final inspection by the NRA, commercial operation should resume in mid-November.
Since the beginning of a periodic inspection in September 2011, operation of the Sendai-2 had been suspended for four years and a month. Because the Sendai-1 (PWR, 890MWe), which resumed operation in August after a shutdown of four years and three months, experienced a problem with seawater leaking into a condenser while output was being increased, Kyushu Electric Power carried out an inspection of condenser piping, etc., at Sendai-2 during nine days in September. The company intends to continue prudently.
In addition to the Sendai-1 and -2 NPPs, three other NPPs have cleared the NRA’s safety examinations: the Takahama-3 and -4, owned and operated by Kansai Electric Power Co., and the Ikata-3, owned and operated by the Shikoku Electric Power Co.
Takahama-3 and -4 will not, however, be able to restart unless a temporary injunction prohibiting restart, issued by the Fukui District Court, is lifted.
As for Ikata-3, although the Ikata Town Assembly and the Ehime Prefectural Assembly have both agreed to a restart, the pre-service inspection has not begun, and actual restart of the unit is expected in early 2016 or later.