Kansai Electric to begin fuel loading for Fukui nuclear restart


Kansai Electric Power Co. said Friday it has started loading nuclear fuel into a reactor on the Sea of Japan following a court decision to lift an injunction against the move, paving the way for its restart in late January, which would be the country’s third reactor to go online.

After the restart earlier this year of two reactors in southwestern Japan, while others remain offline in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the No. 3 reactor at the utility’s Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture would be the first to run on uranium-plutonium mixed oxide, or MOX fuel, if it begins operations as scheduled.

The utility is scheduled to insert a total of 157 fuel rod assemblies by the next Tuesday, including 24 made from MOX fuel, according to Kepco.

The reactor along with the No. 4 unit at the same plant was allowed to resume operation by the Fukui District Court on Thursday.

The power company envisions reactivating the No. 3 unit sometime between Jan. 28 and 30 and having it start power generation and transmission around Feb. 1, followed by the restart of the No. 4 unit in late February.

“We will put top priority on the safety of the work” for the restart, Kansai Electric President Makoto Yagi said at a news conference Friday.

Japan returned to nuclear power generation when Kyushu Electric Power Co. brought two reactors at its Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture back online earlier this year.

The government seeks to make up at least 20 percent of the country’s electricity using nuclear power plants by 2030.

The restart of Takahama’s two reactors will be “a step forward” toward the goal, Motoo Hayashi, the industry minister in charge of the energy policy, said at a news conference Friday.

Prior to the court decision, both reactors gained approval for resumption from the state’s Nuclear Regulation Authority in February.

The injunction issued by the court in April, however, banned the utility from restarting the units until it was lifted on Thursday.

Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for the company to restart the two units following approval by the local prefectural assembly and the mayor of Takahama.

The court’s presiding Judge Jun Hayashi said in Thursday’s decision that he recognizes the rationality of the post-Fukushima safety regulations set by the nuclear regulator.

Hideaki Higuchi, the presiding judge when the same court issued the injunction in April, said then the court could not see any credible evidence in the utility’s assumptions regarding earthquake risk and restarting the two reactors posed “imminent danger” to residents around the plant, which is about 380 km west of Tokyo.

  • laureldefalco@gmail.com

    I have to put my two cents in and say that this is a very bad idea. How can the governor of Fukui district or any reasonable person of sound mind, whose job it is to legislate on behalf of the people in Japan, look into the eyes of their children or their grandchildren knowing that they are helping PM Abe continue with his blatantly criminal conspiracy he and other corrupt world leaders seem to enjoy so much at the expense of the quality of life for innocent victims of radiation induced illnesses ?
    This nuclear energy pushing agenda has nothing to do with climate change (although Abe has never claimed he supports it because he cares about the environment, which is good, because it actually depletes the ozone and contributes to oxygen loss) or about bringing “jobs and helping the people of Japan”. I am sure anyone from Fukushima prefecture realizes this already.
    The pro nuclear agenda and those like Abe, who work overtime to promote it, are on a mission make the richest of the filthy rich become even wealthier, while putting innocent people, little babies not even born yet and small children at risk for debilitating diseases and ill health.

    Low level radiation has been proven to cause leukemia, lymphoma, Type one diabetes, reproductive abnormalities, thyroid and other cancers, and schizophrenia, just to name a few. It mutates your DNA and weakens ypur immunity. Just look at one of the many mutated plants I am sure you have noticed around Japan. They produce double and triple flowers, then become diseased by fungus and die. The red roses turning to a pinkish white do not last as long as the red ones did before the DNA was mutated by radiation. I can’t be the only one who has noticed. Mutations are harmful 99 percent of the time. But that’s bad for the nuclear agenda. This is the reason all of your scientific research into the effects of radiation is censored and denied.

    When Abe gets a reactor restarted, he now has a plutonium factory, from which he can export materials to countries like the USA and Russia or any other that has budgeted a trillion dollars (or some ridiculous insane amount close to what Obama and a crooked Congress and Senate have agreed to spend ) to build even deadlier weapons of mass destruction. Abe returns the favor by spending money for the education og MIT students, so they can someday move to Japan and sacrifice themselves to engineer thee cancer causing machines. Toshiba and other corporations benefit by increased production for small components of these nuclear plants. Now India has a pile of Uranium beneath their land that will become the fuel needed to run these reactors and extremely lax safety standards too. All good for the bottom line, yet devastatingly expensive for the victims living in the fallout. That would be all of us, especially all of you in Chernobyl, certain poorer areas in India, or everywhere in Japan. And now, also me, on the West Coast of the USA.

    Of course, these government “leaders ” have a voice, or are even the deciding factor into which companies get government contracts. So, who do you think is going to have knowledge of which stocks are good to buy and which should be sold ? This is a very blatant scam run by an elite mafia that has essentially been legalized because they’re making their own laws and rewriting Constitutions in order to hide what is shameful and illegal. No one knows the details that could bring down these empires except for the leaders of these nuclear nations and the corporations that help to fulfill their insider trading scheme. It would not even matter if it weren’t financed entirely by tax paying citizens with no voice in the process. Or if nuclear power plants were actually safe (they’re not ) and everyone had a share in their nation’s prosperity, I would have no reason to rant about it. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Our government leaders care nothing for the health or well being of the citizens. All we are is free money for them to play games with. Eventually, when all of us are so radioactive that we can no longer reproduce, then I guess we, the taxpayers will have the last laugh. Too bad we will be the last ones left before the total extinction of mankind by that time.