Second Japanese reactor achieves full power

3 November 2015

Japan's Kyushu Electric Power Co said on 1 November that Sendai 2 had reached full-capacity and plans to bring the reactor into commercial operation in mid-November after it clears examinations by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA).

The utility restarted the reactor in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture on 15 October and power generation and transmission started on 21 October. Sendai 2 is the second reactor in Japan to be brought back online under the post Fukushima stricter safety standards. Sendai 1 restarted in August.

Progress has also been made towards the restart of unit 3 at Shikoku Electric Power Co's Ikata nuclear plant in Ehime Prefecture after Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura approved the restart. "I've considered the issue from all points of view, including the national government's opinion, Shikoku Electric Power's efforts to implement safety measures, and discussions among local authorities," he said. "I had to make a decision that entails a very heavy responsibility." The reactor could begin operation early next year, following procedures including pre-operation tests by the NRA.

In July, the unit cleared its safety review under the new regulatory standards. The national government subsequently notified local authorities of its proposal to reactivate the reactor.

Resuming operations also required a consensus among the Ikata town government and the Ehime prefectural government, which had both signed safety agreements with Shikoku Electric Power. Earlier this month, the Ikata town assembly, the town mayor and the Ehime prefectural assembly decided to agree to resume operations. The decision provoked protests by anti-nuclear groups.

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