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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Takahama: Fuel loading to begin straight away

December 24, 2015

Nuclear fuel to be put into reactor

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20151225_02.html

Dec. 24, 2015 - Updated 20:28 UTC+1

The operator of a nuclear power plant in central Japan will begin work on Friday to load fuel into a reactor. A court decision previously allowed the restart of 2 reactors at the Takahama plant.

The Fukui District Court delivered the judgment on Thursday, reversing an injunction it issued in April to keep the plant's No.3 and No.4 reactors offline.

The plant's operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, had filed an objection to the injunction. Different judges presided over the 2 trials.

The governments of the plant's host town, Takahama, and Fukui Prefecture approved the restart earlier this month.

Kansai Electric plans to maneuver a crane and other equipment to finish moving 157 fuel assemblies to the No.3 reactor from a pool in an adjacent building by Tuesday of next week. They will include 24 units of MOX fuel, a mixture of plutonium extracted from spent fuel and uranium.

It will be the first time in about 3 years and 9 months for fuel to be inserted into the reactor. Kansai Electric says it will carefully perform the loading work.

When the fuel transfer is complete, preparations to restart the reactor will enter into the final stages. The utility plans to resume the reactor's operation late next month after checks of key safety facilities.

The reactor is expected to be the third to be restarted under new, stricter requirements introduced after the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Two reactors at the Sendai plant in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima came back online earlier this year.

Kansai Electric says it intends to restart the No.4 reactor at the Takahama plant in late February.

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