Editer l'article Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
Le blog de fukushima-is-still-news

information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Restart of MOX reactor in densely populated region

Restart of MOX reactor in densely populated region
Pluthermal reactor in Fukui Prefecture expected to restart on Jan. 29

January 26, 2016

By HIROKI ITO/ Staff Writer

For the first time since the Fukushima nuclear disaster unfolded, a plutonium-thermal (pluthermal) reactor is scheduled to restart on Jan. 29 in a densely populated region with Japan’s largest concentration of nuclear reactors.

Kansai Electric Power Co. submitted its plans for the No. 3 reactor at its Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture, to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Jan. 25.

A restart of that reactor would be the third under the NRA’s stricter safety regulations that were compiled after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in 2011.

The No. 3 pluthermal reactor at the Takahama plant uses mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which contains plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel.

Pluthermal reactors are crucial components in the government’s ambitious, expensive and problem-plagued nuclear fuel cycle project.

Twenty-four of the 157 fuel rods delivered to the No. 3 reactor last month consisted of MOX fuel.

The utility will test the control rods used to regulate the nuclear reaction of the fuel on the morning of Jan. 29. If the NRA deems everything is functioning properly after a final safety check, the operator will remove the control rods and boot up the reactor on the afternoon of that day at the earliest.

Kansai Electric hopes to start commercial operations of the reactor in late February.

The area around Wakasa Bay hosts 13 nuclear power plants, with the Takahama plant located at the west end of the chain.

About 180,000 people reside in 12 municipalities of Fukui, Kyoto and Shiga prefectures within a 30-kilometer radius of the plant.

The NRA in February last year cleared the No. 3 and 4 reactors at the Takahama plant for a resumption of operations.

However, residents around the plant sought a court injunction against the reactor restarts. In April 2015, the Fukui District Court ordered Kansai Electric to keep the two reactors offline.

A different judge of the same court lifted the injunction in December, allowing Kansai Electric to restart the plant for the first time in three years and 11 months, following a suspension of operations for a periodic checkup in February 2012.

The utility also plans to restart the No. 4 reactor at the Takahama plant.

Kansai Electric will start loading nuclear fuel to the No. 4 reactor on Jan. 31 at the earliest. It hopes to fire up the reactor by late February and restart commercial power generation in late March.

All nuclear power facilities were shut down after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami set off the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture in March 2011.

The No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsuma-Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, resumed operations last August after being cleared by the NRA.

Partager cet article
Pour être informé des derniers articles, inscrivez vous :
Commenter cet article