27 April, 2017
Takahama-4 to Restart in May, First Such Case Following Court Ruling to Suspend Operation
On April 25, President Shigeki Iwane of Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP) met with Governor Issei Nishikawa of Fukui Prefecture at the prefectural offices in Fukui City, telling him that the Takahama-4 Nuclear Power Plant (PWR, 870MWe), located in the prefecture, would be restarted in mid-May, and Unit 3 (PWR, 870MWe) in the first part of June. It will be the first time that a nuclear power plant will be restarted in Japan after its operation was suspended owing to a court decision.
If plans proceed as planned, it will be the first time the two units have operated in one year and three months. That would bring the total of domestic NPPs in operation to five, including Sendai-1 and -2 of the Kyushu Electric Power Co. (Kagoshima Prefecture), and Ikata-3 of the Shikoku Electric Power Co. (Ehime Prefecture). Kansai EP will begin loading fuel to Unit 4 on April 28.
According to the schedule, Unit 4 will start power generation and connect to the grid at the end of May, shifting to commercial operation in the middle of June. Meanwhile, fuel will be loaded into Unit 3 in mid-May, with grid connection targeted to begin in early June, and commercial operation in early July. The two units were each loaded with 157 fuel assemblies, of which four in Unit 4 and 24 in Unit 3 consists of MOX fuel.
The two units had been restarted in January and February of last year, but were both suspended in March 2016, due to a temporary disposition ruling by the Otsu District Court. In March of this year, the Osaka High Court approved Kansai EP’s appeal, canceling the provisional disposition, bringing the reactors into a legally operable state.