The Shika 2 advanced boiling water reactor owned by Hokuriku Electric Power has achieved first criticality.

With criticality confirmed, the 1358MWe reactor is undergoing trial operations. Nuclear heat-up tests are set to begin when the reactor will be started and pressure and heat raised to the rated values. In July, the reactor is due to be connected to the grid and begin generating power. Various tests will be carried out as output is raised in stages from 20% to 50%, 75% and 100%.

Commercial operation of Shika 2 is scheduled for March 2006.

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