China completing another nuclear reactor and Japan’s court clear two more reactors for restart

1. Unit 4 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China’s Fujian province has begun fuel loading. The unit is expected to start up later this year.

CNNC’s Fuqing plant will eventually house six Chinese-designed pressurized water reactors, the first four being 1087 MWe CPR-1000 units. Units 1 to 3 entered commercial operation in November 2014, October 2015 and October 2016, respectively. Unit 4 is scheduled to start up later this year.

China’s State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing units 5 and 6 in mid-April. First concrete was poured for the fifth unit in May 2015, while that for unit 6 was poured in December. These will be demonstration indigenously-designed Hualong One reactors.

2. A court in Japan has dismissed a request for an injunction against the restart of units 3 and 4 of Kyushu Electric Power Company’s Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture. The court sided with the utility in deciding the units are safe to operate. Genkai 3 and 4 are expected to resume operation later this year, once the Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has completed remaining safety inspections. Of Japan’s 42 operable reactors, five have so far cleared inspections confirming they meet the new regulatory safety standards and have resumed operation. These are: Kyushu’s Sendai units 1 and 2; Shikoku’s Ikata unit 3; and, Kansai’s Takahama units 3 and 4. Another 19 reactors have applied to restart.