No. 3 reactor at Kepco’s Takahama nuclear plant now in state of cold shutdown

JIJI

The No. 3 reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture reached a state of cold shutdown Friday night after its operations were halted the previous day based on a court order.

Cold shutdown means that the reactor is in a stable condition, with temperatures of primary coolant falling to about 80 degrees Celsius.

Kansai Electric halted the No. 3 unit Thursday, some 40 days after the 870,000-kw reactor was brought back online on Jan. 29 following a hiatus of three years and 11 months.

On Wednesday, Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture, which borders Fukui, issued a provisional injunction ordering the power supplier to stop the operations of the No. 3 unit and the No. 4 reactor at the same plant, upholding a petition filed by residents in Shiga.

The court said that Kansai Electric has not fully explained or proved the safety of the reactors despite concerns over measures to cope with a severe accident.

Following the shutdown of the No. 3 unit, Kansai Electric began work in the small hours of Friday on lowering coolant temperatures and pressure inside the reactor.

The No. 4 reactor, also having an output of 870,000 kw, went back online on Feb. 26, but was suspended three days later due to a problem with its power generation and transmission system.

Currently, the No. 1 and No. 2 units at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture are the only active nuclear power reactors in Japan.

The Sendai No. 1 and No. 2 reactors were brought back online in August 2015 and October the same year, respectively.