27.11.2017_No236 / News in Brief

Governor Approves Restart Of Japan’s Ohi-3 And -4

Plant Operation

The Ohi nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture, southwest Japan.

27 Nov (NucNet): The governor of Fukui Prefecture in southwest Japan has approved the restart of the Ohi-3 and -4 nuclear reactor units, operator Kansai Electric Power Company said on 27 November 2017. His decision clears the final regulatory hurdle for the restarts of both units early next year. Ohi-3 is a 1,127-MW pressurised water reactor that began commercial operation in 1991. Ohi-4, also a 1,127-MW PWR, began commercial operation in 1993. All of Japan’s 48 reactors were shut between 2011 and 2012 after the March 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident. Five units have resumed commercial operation after meeting revised regulatory standards. They are: Takahama-3 and -4, Ikata-3 and Sendai-1 and -2. According to the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, 12 nuclear units at six sites have now been approved as meeting new regulatory standards introduced following the accident. Ohi-3 and -4 were the first two reactors to resume operation in Japan following the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, but were both taken offline in September 2013 for scheduled refuelling and maintenance. But restarts where delayed when, in May 2014, the Fukui district court ruled that it would not allow Ohi-3 and -4 to return to operation. A lawsuit filed by a group of almost 200 people living within a 250km radius of the Ohi station claimed that the plant was sited near several active seismic faults and was not adequately protected against earthquakes. Kansai Electric appealed the decision and it was overturned by a higher court in March 2017.

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David Dalton

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