Japan nuclear restarts involve complete inspections, repairs and upgrades

Japan’s nuclear regulator today approved the ‘construction plans’ for strengthening Ohi units 3 and 4 and Genkai unit 3. The plans are the second of three applications required during the restart process. The units must undergo further inspections before being permitted to restart.

Under Japan’s reactor restart process, plant operators are required to apply to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for: permission to make changes to the reactor installation; approval of its construction plan to strengthen the plant; and, final safety inspections to ensure the unit meets new safety requirements. Operators are required to add certain safety-enhancing equipment within five years of receiving the NRA’s approval of a reactor engineering work program.

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.

Japan’s restart process includes complete inspections and upgrades of computers, electronics and heavy components where needed.

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