28 Janvier 2016
January 28, 2016
Jan. 28, 2016 - Updated 18:20 UTC+1
The operator of a nuclear power plant in central Japan is to put one of its reactors back online on Friday. It will be the third restart under strict government regulations adopted after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident.
Kansai Electric Power Company plans to reactivate the No.3 reactor at the Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture if no problems are found with its control rods.
The utility expects the reactor to achieve a self-sustaining chain reaction on Saturday. It plans to start generating and transmitting electricity on Monday. It wants to start commercial operation late next month.
Kansai Electric will use what is known as MOX fuel, a mixture of plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel and uranium. The substance is part of Japan's fuel recycling system.
The use of MOX fuel would be the country's first in about 3 years and 11 months.
Last April, a court in Fukui issued an injunction to keep the No.3 and No.4 reactors at Takahama offline. But it reversed the decision last month after Kansai Electric filed an objection.
The utility plans to load fuel into the No.4 reactor on Sunday and restart it as early as late next month.
Two reactors at the Sendai nuclear plant in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima went back online last year.