Ikata 3 operating at full power again

22 August 2016

Unit 3 of the Ikata nuclear power plant in Japan's Ehime prefecture has reached 100% operating capacity, owner Shikoku Electric Power Company announced today. The unit is the fifth Japanese reactor to resume operation.

Ikata plant - 460 (Shikoku)
The three-unit Ikata plant (Image: Shikoku)

Ikata 3 had been idle since being taken offline for a periodic inspection in April 2011. However, Shikoku began the process to restart Ikata 3 on 12 August and the reactor attained criticality the following day. The 846 MWe pressurized water reactor resumed power generation on 15 August and since then output from the unit has been gradually increased.

The utility announced the reactor began "constant rated thermal power operation" at 10.15am today.

Subject to a final inspection by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, Shikoku expects Ikata 3 to resume full commercial operation on 7 September.

Ikata 3 became the fifth Japanese reactor to resume operation under new safety standards introduced following the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Unit 1 of Kyushu Electric Power Company's Sendai plant in Kagoshima prefecture was the first to be restarted last August, followed by Sendai 2 in October. Unit 3 of Kansai Electric Power Company's Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture resumed operation on 29 January. Takahama 4 was restarted on 26 February, but has remained offline since 29 February following an automatic shutdown of the reactor due to a "main transformer/generator internal failure". However, an injunction imposed by a district court on 9 March led to unit 3 being taken offline as well and both units have since remained idle.

Another 20 reactors are moving through the restart process, which has been prioritised to bring on the most-needed reactors first, in the localities and prefectures more supportive of restart.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News