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Kansai Electric to restart Oi N-plant No. 4 reactor Fri.

  • January 14, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 11:17 p.m.
  • English Press

Fukui, Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)–Kansai Electric Power Co. <9503> said Thursday that it will restart the No. 4 reactor at its Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, Friday night.

 

The reactor in the town of Oi will reach criticality, or a self-sustained nuclear chain reaction, Saturday morning and will resume power generation and transmission Sunday night.

 

The 1.18-million-kilowatt reactor will be reactivated for the first time since Nov. 3 last year, when it went offline for a routine inspection.

 

Since all reactors of Kansai Electric are halted, the company will have an active reactor for the first time in two and a half months.

 

Japan is facing tight electricity supply, reflecting high demand due to cold weather and a shortage of liquefied natural gas for thermal generation.

 

Even after the planned restart, Kansai Electric will continue to call for cooperation to save power.

 

Kansai Electric said it has found no major problems during the routine inspection. The reactor will become fully operational in mid-February after a warm-up.

 

The company planned to reactivate the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at its Takahama nuclear power plant, also in Fukui, last month and this month, respectively.

 

But the restarts have been delayed because heat exchanger tubes of the No. 4 reactor were found damaged. The No. 3 reactor will not be brought back online at least until early February.

 

Among major utilities, Kansai Electric relies heavily on nuclear power. It expects that a restart of a reactor will improve its profitability by around 3 billion yen per month.

 

Over the Oi plant’s No. 3 and No. 4 reactors, Osaka District Court last month nullified the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s judgment that the facilities reach safety levels required by law for restarts.

 

As the ruling has not become final, local residents and others filed a petition with Osaka High Court on Thursday for an injunction to suspend the validity of the NRA judgment.

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