Unit 3 at Japan’s Ikata NPP in Ehime Prefecture is scheduled to restart commercial operation on 7 September, if the final inspections by the Nuclear Regulation Authority find “no outstanding problems”, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) said in a statement. The 846MWet unit resumed full test-phase operation on 22 August after workers completed the replacement of parts on the reactor, the statement said. Shikoku Electric Power Company had originally planned to start commercial operation in late August but this was delayed by the need to replace the seals on three reactor coolant pumps, the company said. There are three blocks at the Ikata nuclear station. Shikoku Electric has already said it plans to decommission Ikata-1 because projected financial returns from operating the reactor will be “insufficient” to justify the high expected costs of necessary safety measures. No decision has been made yet on Ikata-2.
Ikata 3 was the fifth Japanese reactor to resume operation under new safety standards introduced following the March 2011 Fukushima accident. Unit 1 at Kyushu Electric Power Company's Sendai plant in Kagoshima prefecture restarted last August, followed by Sendai 2 in October. Unit 3 of Kansai Electric Power Company's Takahama NPP in Fukui prefecture resumed operation on 29 January. Takahama 4 was restarted on 26 February, but has remained offline since 29 February following an automatic shutdown of the reactor due to a "main transformer/generator internal failure". Unit 3 was close down again in March by a court injunction brought by residents concerned about safety.