Kyushu Electric plans to restart Genkai No. 4 reactor in March

JIJI

Kyushu Electric Power Co. on Friday has asked the Nuclear Regulation Authority to perform pre-operation inspections for the No. 4 reactor at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture, telling the regulator it aims to put the reactor back online in early March.

Pre-use checks are the last procedure on the list for restarting a nuclear reactor.

Kyushu Electric plans to load 193 fuel assemblies into the reactor in February. After reactivating it in early March, the utility plans to start commercial operations in April.

If things work out as planned, the No. 4 reactor will be active for the first time since December 2011, when it was halted for routine checkups.

In January this year, the NRA concluded that the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the plant in the town of Genkai meet the tougher safety standards introduced in July 2013 after the triple core meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant in Fukushima Prefecture in March 2011.

The two reactors have passed all screenings required for reactivation. The Saga prefectural and Genkai municipal governments have already approved the restarts.

The No. 3 reactor is currently undergoing pre-use inspections and is expected to go back online in early January.