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Last Japanese reactor to be halted on May 5

March 26, 2012

Tomari reactor to be halted on May 5

Hokkaido Electric Power Co. plans to halt operations of the No. 3 reactor at its Tomari nuclear power plant on May 5 for regular inspections, according to sources.

Regular inspections are also scheduled to start at the No. 6 reactor at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on Monday.

If Kansai Electric Power Co. does not get approval to restart the No. 3 and 4 reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, which have been shut down for regular inspections, all of the nation's 54 reactors will be offline when the Tomari No. 3 reactor is halted. There is strong opposition to restarting the reactors.

According to the sources, Hokkaido Electric is preparing to file an application for the regular inspections with the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. The application probably will be filed Monday.

The utility initially planned to shut down the No. 3 reactor on April 27.


Reactor's operations uncertain

Meanwhile, Chubu Electric Power Co. plans to remove a reference on when to start operating a new reactor at its Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, from its power supply plan for fiscal 2012, according to sources.

The company had said the planned No. 6 reactor would start operations in fiscal 2021. However, the timing is up in the air because construction has not yet started, the sources said.

However, Chubu Electric will not scrap its plan to build the new reactor, they said. It will provide details on the new reactor's operation timetable when the nation's nuclear policy becomes clearer, they added.

Utilities usually notify the government of their expected power demand and supply capacity for the next 10 years.

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