The second ABWR unit at Japan's quake-hit Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant has resumed commerical operation. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa-6, owned and operated by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), began commercial operation on 19 January after a full evaluation by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). It joins unit 7 which returned to commercial operation in late December.
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa-6 was already undergoing a periodic inspection when the earthquake struck in July 2007. It has since had a series of inspections of all its equipment, as well as seismic retrofitting. The unit had temporarily resumed operation in August 2009, but a problem in the position of one of the control rods caused the reactor to shutdown temporarily in December.
At present, systems functional tests are being conducted at Units 1 and 5. TEPCO has not indicated when they will return to service.
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