OSAKA – Kansai Electric Power Co. said Monday that it has finished work to inject fuel into reactor 3 at its Takahama nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture.
The company installed a total of 157 fuel assemblies in the reactor. Among them are 24 units of mixed oxide, or MOX, fuel, a blend of uranium and plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel.
The fuel-loading work finished around 6 p.m. Monday (9 a.m. GMT), ahead of schedule, after being launched Friday afternoon.
The work was suspended temporarily after some of the fuel assemblies hit a container on Friday. There were no other problems.
The Takahama unit 3 would be the third reactor to be brought back online under Japan’s new nuclear safety standards introduced in July 2013, after the triple reactor meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in March 2011.
The two other reactors are units 1 and 2 at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. The two, reactivated earlier this year, are currently the only active reactors in Japan.
The fuel injection into the Takahama unit 3 came after the Fukui District Court on Thursday reversed its earlier decision against the restart of the reactor and unit 4 at the same plant, dismissing local residents’ opposition due to safety risks.
The Fukui Prefectural Government and the municipal government of Takahama, host to the plant, have already given their consent to the restart.
Following the completion of the fuel injection, Kepco will check the containment vessel and ductwork for reactor 3. The company aims to put the reactor back online between Jan. 28 and 30.