Japan’s Shikoku Electric Power Co said on 16 June that it planned to restart unit 3 at its Ikata NPP in Ehime Prefecture later this year following a decision by a high court in western Japan in March, which overturned a lower court ruling that had kept plant closed since December 2019. The lower court had ruled there was insufficient attention to the threat from earthquakes in the design of the facility. The high court ruled that there was no such safety risks. Ikata 3 was closed in December 2019 for maintenance but was then kept off line by the court ruling.
The 890MWe pressurised water reactor Ikata 3 received Nuclear Regulatory Authority approval to resume operation in April 2016, having been idle since being taken offline for routine inspection in April 2011. It entered commercial operation in September 2016 before being closed again for routine maintenance in October 2017 and was scheduled to restart in January before another court injunction suspended its operation in December 2017 based on alleged safety risks from a nearby volcano. That decision was reversed by a high court in October 2018.
The plant is currently offline, undergoing its 15th periodic inspection, Shikoku said, adding that fuel loading was expected in September for reactor restart on 12 October. The start of power transmission is set for 17 October for normal operation on 12 November.