Japan will have 5 operational nuclear reactors next month and 19 more have applied to restart

Japan is restarting unit 4 of its Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture. The reactor – which together with unit 3 has been offline since March 2016 – is expected to re-enter commercial operation next month.

The company said the 830 MWe (net) pressurised water reactor (PWR) was restarted at 3.00pm today and is expected to achieve criticality tomorrow. Kansai plans to resume electricity generation at Takahama 4 and reconnect it to the grid on 22 May “as the final stage of the periodic outage inspection following various types of tests”. It added that “full-scale operation” of the unit will resume in mid-June after the completion of the comprehensive inspection performed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA).

Three other Japanese reactors are currently in operation: Kyushu Electric’s Sendai units 1 and 2 and Shikoku Electric’s Ikata unit 3. Another 19 have applied to restart.