• Kyodo

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Kansai Electric Power Co. said Tuesday it will seek to restart its two idled reactors in Fukui Prefecture starting in mid-May.

Shigeki Iwane, the utility’s president, presented the plan at the Takahama plant during a meeting with Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa.

“It is correct that (Kansai Electric) will take procedures to start operations,” Nishikawa told reporters after the meeting.

Kansai Electric will start loading nuclear fuel at the No. 4 unit later this month, eyeing the start of electricity generation in late May, while planning to reactivate the No. 3 reactor in early June after fueling the facility in mid-May, according to the schedule released by the Osaka-based company.

Although Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has been promoting the restart of nuclear reactors across Japan, most reactors remain offline amid safety concerns from residents following the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear accident.

The two reactors in Takahama were brought back online in early 2016 after meeting safety requirements introduced after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

While the No. 4 unit was shut down immediately after its restart in February last year due to a technical problem, the No. 3 reactor was forced offline the following month in the wake of an Otsu District Court order stemming from a lawsuit filed by residents in neighboring Shiga Prefecture.

In March this year, the Osaka High Court struck down the lower court’s decision, making it possible for the two reactors to resume operations.

Among the four units at the Takahama plant, Japan’s nuclear regulators approved in June last year a plan to extend the operations of reactors 1 and 2 beyond the government-mandated 40-year service period.

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