Japan restarts second Takahama unit

7 June 2017

Kansai Electric Power Co restarted Takahama 3 in Fukui Prefecture, on 6 June and it became the fifth reactor to come back online since the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

The restart coincided with reports that a shipment of uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (Mox) fuel will arrive in Takahama from France in a few months for use in the Takahama 4 next year. Takahama 4 restarted in May.

Both units at Takahama are 830MWe (net) pressurised water reactors. Electricity from unit 4 will go on sale shortly, and from unit 3 in early July.

Despite having clearance from the Nuclear Regulation Authority which allowed them to restart at the beginning of 2016, both reactors had been closed again in March 2016 by a court injunction after residents raised concerns about their safety. In August, Kansai had removed the fuel from both units and placed it in their storage pools. In March 2017, the Osaka High Court ruled in Kansai's favour and lifted the injunction, and allowing fuel to be reloaded into both units.

Japan’s other three operating reactors are Kyushu Electric’s Sendai 1&2 inKagoshima Prefecture and Ikata 3 operated by Shikoku Electric Power Company in Ehime Prefecture.

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