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4 June, 2015

Kyushu Electric Power Postpones Scheduled Restart of Sendai-1 to August

On June 1, Kyushu Electric Power Co. announced that it had postponed its restart of the Sendai-1 Nuclear Power Plant (PWR, 890MWe) to mid-August from the initial schedule of late July, owing to its review of items needing inspection before nuclear fuel is loaded into the reactor. The fuel loading itself, once planned for mid-June, is now expected in early July.

Sendai NPPs

In order to restart Unit 1, the power company intends to use some of the equipment and facilities at Unit 2. It explained that it had found it necessary to complete inspections, not just those of facilities to be jointly used, but of others to protect the first from fire and other disasters before the fuel is loaded.

Saying that it would complete those inspections by June 18, it now says that the actual loading of fuel will be delayed by two weeks or so.

Pre-service inspections — the final stage in restarting — are currently underway at Sendai-1. According to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), about 30% of the required items in the inspections have already been checked.

As Sendai-1 will be Japan’s first reactor to be restarted under the new regulatory standards, both the regulator (NRA) and operator (Kyushu Electric Power) are in some sense “feeling their way along as they go,” not having any precedent to follow. It would not come as a surprise if more delays occurred in the inspection schedule.

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