After receiving official approval from Niigata Prefecture, Kashiwazaki City and Kariwa Village to begin a test run at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa-7 on 8 May, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) immediately started functional tests for the entire plant.

In the afternoon of the following day, control rods were withdrawn and the reactor was restarted for the first time since the suspension of operations following the Niigata Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake of July 2007. If the test run goes smoothly, it is expected to take 40-50 days before commercial operation begins.

After discussions and confirmation at the middle and final stages – which the prefecture’s technical committee required as a condition for the three local parties’ agreeing to the test run – TEPCO will obtain a certificate of completion of a periodic inspection from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), after which it will shift to ordinary commercial operation.