15 Mars 2018
March 14, 2018
Ohi No.3 reactor back online
Another Japanese nuclear reactor has been restarted following the March 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima in Japan.
The Number 3 reactor at the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture is run by Kansai Electric Power Company. It was reactivated on Wednesday afternoon following the removal of control rods that suppress atomic fission.
It is expected to reach criticality early on Thursday, begin power generation and transmission on Friday, and go into commercial operation in early April.
It is the 6th reactor at 4 nuclear power plants in Japan to be restarted under new regulatory requirements for commercial nuclear plants that were introduced after the serious accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Two of the reactors are at the Takahama plant, located about 13 kilometers to the west of the Ohi plant. If both plants are damaged simultaneously by an earthquake or tsunami, efforts to respond to the disaster or evacuate residents could be disrupted.
Kansai Electric Power plans to restart the Number 4 reactor at Ohi in mid-May.
In 2014, the Fukui District Court ruled against putting the Number 3 and Number 4 reactors back online. The ruling was appealed to a higher court, which has yet to rule on the issue.
A 60-year-old local resident said he's against the restart because he doesn't know where and how he should evacuate if there's an accident.
Another local person, who is 67 years old, says he has visited the plant several times and found its equipment and management to be fine. He said he wanted the utility to supply electricity without keeping the reactors idle.
Coastal nuclear reactor resumes operations, joins 2 units nearby
FUKUI, Japan (Kyodo) -- Kansai Electric Power Co. restarted Wednesday a reactor at its Oi plant on the Sea of Japan coast, located close to two other units already online, amid lingering safety concerns following the Fukushima disaster.
It is the first time that multiple nuclear reactors within the same vicinity have been in operation since the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The No. 3 reactor at the Oi plant is a mere 14 kilometers from the No. 3 and 4 units at the Takahama plant, all in the central Japan prefecture of Fukui.
Local residents are worried about the lack of an effective evacuation plan in the event accidents hit both the Takahama and Oi complexes at the same time.
The No. 3 Oi unit is the sixth reactor to resume operations in Japan after clearing stricter safety regulations implemented in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seeing nuclear power as an "important base-load power source," is promoting the restart of nuclear reactors considered safe by regulators.
Under the current national energy policy, the government plans to generate between 20 and 22 percent of total electricity using nuclear power in fiscal 2030.
Kansai Electric aims to start commercial operations of the No. 3 Oi reactor in early April. The No. 4 reactor at the Oi plant is also expected to restart in May, having cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority's safety review along with the No. 3 unit in May 2017.
See also : https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/14/national/kepco-brings-no-3-reactor-fukui-plant-back-online/