Nuclear fuel loading has started at unit 1 of Kyushu Electric Power Co's Sendai nuclear power plant in Japan. The reactor is expected to become the first to restart under Japan's new regulatory framework.
Sendai 1&2, both 890MW pressurised water reactors, were taken out of service for a periodic safety inspection in May 2011 and September 2011.
Since then the reactors have undergone upgrades and Kyushu has bolstered operating routines and emergency management procedures.
The Japan Atomic Industrial Forum said that Kyushu expects to load about 40 nuclear fuel assemblies into the reactor daily from 7-10 July. The reactor requires 157 fuel assemblies in total.
Sendai 1 is expected to resume operations next month and could be in normal operations by September, subject to approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority.