(Sankei: March 24, 2016 – p. 28)
On March 23, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved construction plans that provide detailed designs for equipment and facilities at the No. 3 reactor at Shikoku Electric Power’s Ikata Nuclear Power Plant (Ehime Prefecture). Pre-operational safety inspections will be carried out onsite, and it is anticipated that the reactor will be restarted as early as July. If the reactor is restarted, it will be the fifth reactor at a total of three plants to resume operation.
Shikoku Electric Power applied in July 2013 for the NRA’s safety screening of the Ikata unit, and the reactor passed inspection under the new safety standards in July 2015.
For the reactor to be restarted, changes to the plant’s safety regulations, which provide the operational control framework, must be approved. The pre-operational inspection will take a few months or so. [In October last year] Ikata Town and Ehime Prefecture gave their consent for the restart.
The construction plans submitted by Shikoku Electric Power were about 47,000 pages in length. They included the designs for about 400 facilities, including emergency diesel generators and the “emergency response building,” which will be the frontline in the event of an accident.
On March 11, Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors and others filed a lawsuit with the Hiroshima District Court demanding a halt to the restart of the Ikata nuclear plant. The group also simultaneously sought an injunction ordering operation of the No. 3 unit to be suspended [if the reactor were to be restarted]. Attention is focused on the court’s response.
The No. 1 and 2 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai plant (Kagoshima Prefecture) and the No. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power’s Takahama plant (Fukui Prefecture) have already resumed operation. On March 9, the Otsu District Court issued a provisional injunction ordering KEPCO to suspend the operation of the reactivated No. 3 and 4 reactors at the Takahama plant.