Japan on Friday restarted a nuclear reactor that uses riskier plutonium-based MOX fuel, the first of that type to resume operations under stricter safety rules introduced after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Japan’s large stockpile of plutonium has raised international nuclear security concerns, and the government has come up with the idea of burning it in reactors to reduce the amount. The No. 3 reactor at Takahama nuclear plant in western Japan, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co., went back online Friday. Dozens of people protested outside the plant in Fukui prefecture, where preparations for a restart of another reactor, No. 4, are also underway.
ABC News 29th Jan 2016 read more »
Despite the majority of Japanese opposing a restart of the nation’s nuclear reactors, the government continues to press for a full resumption of nuclear power. Energy expert Tetsunari Iida tells DW the reasons behind it. Public opposition to nuclear energy remains steadfast, as the disaster continues to loom in the Japanese psyche and many harbor safety concerns in the earthquake-prone country. Kansai Electric Power Co. announced on January 28 plans to restart the nation’s third nuclear reactor, after it cleared new post-Fukushima safety regulations. In a DW interview, sustainable energy policy expert Tetsunari Iida says the nuclear lobby in Japan has not only economic interests, but also a strong conviction in the conservative energy policy concept, which gives nuclear power a major role in the energy policy mix. Japan can afford to completely give up nuclear power. In fact, sticking to nuclear represents an old-fashioned economy, whereas renewable energy is a symbol of a new industrial revolution.
Deutsche Well 29th Jan 2016 read more »
Kansai Electric Power Company today restarted unit 3 of its Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture. The company soon plans to start loading fuel into unit 4 at the plant ahead of its restart. Takahama 3 was restarted at 5.00pm today, Kansai said, adding that it expects the 870 MWe pressurized water reactor to reach criticality tomorrow. The unit’s output will gradually be increased while tests are conducted and, following a final inspection by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), it is expected to re-enter commercial operation by the end of February. However, Kansai said this schedule may change “depending on the result of the ongoing inspection by the NRA”.
World Nuclear News 29th Jan 2016 read more »