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ATOMS in JAPAN

7 July, 2015

Fuel Loading Starts at Sendai-1 on July 7

On July 3, Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) completed pre-service inspections at Unit 1 of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant, owned and operated by the Kyushu Electric Power Co., and located in Satsumasendai City of Kagoshima Prefecture. The inspections are required before nuclear fuel can be loaded into the reactor.

Sendai NPPs

Now that pre-loading procedures have been completed, Kyushu Electric Power began loading the first of 157 fuel assemblies today at Sendai-1, and will continue doing so for four days or so. The reactor is expected to resume operation in mid-August, after having been shut down in May 2011, with commercial operation to begin the following month.

The NRA began the pre-service inspections at the end of March of this year to ascertain whether the equipment and facilities at the reactor were in accordance with the results of safety examinations under new regulatory standards, as well as whether they had the necessary capabilities. All of those are preconditions for restarting NPPs in Japan.

Sendai-1 will make joint use of equipment and facilities on the side closer to Sendai-2; the final inspections completed on July 3 involved those. Meanwhile, the pre-service inspections at Sendai-1 had already been completed on June 19.

Starting today, Kyushu Electric Power intends to load about 40 fuel assemblies into the reactor daily. Three days from now, on July 10, it plans to check whether the assemblies were loaded properly. Thereafter, it will run water through piping to check for leakage. It will also conduct a drill prior to the restart so as to prevent severe accidents.

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