Restart progress for Japan’s Ikata NPP

7 March 2016

Japan's Shikoku Electric Power Company has submitted an amended 'construction plan' to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for strengthening unit 3 at its Ikata NPP in Ehime prefecture - the second of three applications required during the restart process. An engineering work programme for Ikata 3 (a 846MWe pressurized water reactor), submitted to the NRA in July 2013, was approved in July last year, signalling that the plant was considered safe for operation. The original construction plan was submitted in October 2015, and NRA identified a number of required revisions, which have now been incorporated in the amended plan. These mainly related to further enhancing protection against natural disasters (including earthquakes, tsunami and tornadoes), as well as improving the protection of safety-critical outdoor equipment.

In January, Shikoku applied to NRA to construct a back-up emergency response building at Ikata 3 as well as to install additional air-cooled emergency gas turbine generators at the unit. Once the construction plan for Ikata 3 has been approved, Shikoku can ask NRA to carry out final pre-operational safety inspections of the unit, which should clear the way for restarting commercial operation.

Currently 20 reactors are moving through the restart process, which has been prioritised to bring on line the most-needed reactors first, in the localities and prefectures more supportive of restart. Unit 1 of Kyushu Electric Power Company's Sendai plant in Kagoshima prefecture resumed operation last August followed by unit 2 in October. Unit 3 of Kansai Electric Power Company's Takahama NPP in Fukui prefecture restarted on 29 January, and unit 4 is in the process of restarting.

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