MATSUYAMA (Kyodo) — Shikoku Electric Power Co. halted the No.1 reactor at its Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime prefecture Sunday morning for a three-month scheduled checkup, making only 11 of Japan’s 54 commercial reactors are now in operation.
The suspension also means that only one of the utility’s three reactors serving the Shikoku Island in western Japan is now in operation.
The No. 1 reactor is expected to be reactivated on Nov. 16 for test operations and resume regular operation on Dec. 15 after conducting detailed equipment inspections, such as emergency diesel power generators and seawater pumps, in addition to ordinary checks, according to the utility.
But it remains uncertain when it can actually resume operation, given new safety assessment requirements introduced in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crisis.
The No.3 reactor at the plant, halted in April also for regular checkup, remains suspended despite initial plans to restart its commercial operations in early August.
The scope of inspections was broadened after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant in March.
[quote]In 2006, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency asked a utility to manipulate public opinion in favor of nuclear power at a public forum, a fresh example of collusion between the nuclear watchdog and electric power companies.
The Shikoku Electric Power Co. admitted NISA asked it to mobilize residents to attend the June 2006 public hearing in Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, home to Shikoku Electric’s Ikata nuclear power plant, the industry ministry said July 29.
NISA wanted the utility to persuade people to speak up in favor of the utility’s planned use of MOX fuel (plutonium oxide mixed with uranium) at the plant.
The revelation came after NISA was found to have asked Chubu Electric Power Co. to plant pro-nuclear supporters in a public forum in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, which hosts the utility’s Hamaoka nuclear plant, in August 2007.
Shikoku Electric reported it had asked 364 employees of the utility and its affiliates to attend the hearing after NISA asked it to “recruit many participants to raise questions and present opinions.”
The utility sought out 29 people, including local residents, to speak up in the government-sponsored session, providing them with “example opinions” beforehand.
About 300 people, roughly half those in attendance, were mobilized by Shikoku Electric.
One person said at the session: “I was somewhat relieved to learn that using fuel made from plutonium blended with uranium would not be very different from using uranium in terms of the gases generated.” The words were similar to the sample opinions.
Shikoku Electric said that it does not believe its actions amount to “faking support” for nuclear power.
“We did not force participants to say anything specific,” the utility’s spokesperson said.
|Unit||Reactor type||Capacity||First criticality||Commissioned||Type|
|Ikata – 1||PWR||566 MW||February 17, 1977||September 30, 1977||Mitsubishi 2-loop plant|
|Ikata – 2||PWR||566 MW||August 19, 1981||March 19, 1982||Mitsubishi 2-loop plant|
|Ikata – 3||PWR||890 MW||March 29, 1994||December 15, 1994||Mitsubishi/Westinghouse 3-loop plant|
- Kyushu Electric halts another reactor for regular checkup at Sendai Nuclear Power Plant (enformable.com)
- New Japenese industry minister Yoshio Hachiro vows efforts to resume halted nuclear reactors (enformable.com)
- Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant’s No. 7 reactor to be suspended for checkup (enformable.com)
- Alec Baldwin Condemns Determination to Build a Nuclear Future (enformable.com)
- NRC cites Pilgrim nuclear plant for multiple safety failures in shutdown (enformable.com)
- Fukushima Daiichi Dust Measurement Points (enformable.com)
- Fukushima Blows Lid Off Exploited Labour – nuclear workers castigated as ‘radiation- exposed people’ (enformable.com)
- SIROCCO Releases Simulations of Radionuclides in Seawater From Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (enformable.com)