Final checks underway to restart Japanese n-reactor

Tokyo, April 5 (IANS) Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority on Tuesday set final stage inspections for the restart of a reactor at the Ikata nuclear power stationn.

The plant in Ehime prefecture is the third facility to undergo such restart checks since stricter regulations were introduced following the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

The No.3 reactor at the Ikata plant passed new regulations in July last year and the prefecture and town hosting the plant agreed it could go back on-line.

The inspectors from the NRA secretariat visited the facility to check the condition of about 400 pieces of equipment, including emergency power supply vehicles and pumps to inject cooling water into the reactor.

The plant’s operator Shikoku Electric Power presented a plan to restart the reactor in July.

The operator will place 157 fuel assemblies into the reactor in late June, which will include MOX fuel, a mixture of plutonium extracted from spent fuel and uranium.

In Japan, two other nuclear facilities have undergone final stage inspections. Two reactors at the Sendai plant in Kagoshima prefecture are back online.

At the Takahama plant in Fukui prefecture, two reactors were also checked and restarted.

However, mechanical problems halted the operation of one and the other was suspended by a court injunction.

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