Takahama Nuclear Power Plant

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Takahama Nuclear Power Plant
Takahama Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Takahama Nuclear Power Plant
Takahama Nuclear Power Plant is located in Japan
Takahama Nuclear Power Plant
Location of Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in Japan
Country Japan
Location Takahama, Fukui Prefecture
Coordinates 35°31′19.17″N 135°30′14.24″E / 35.5219917°N 135.5039556°E / 35.5219917; 135.5039556Coordinates: 35°31′19.17″N 135°30′14.24″E / 35.5219917°N 135.5039556°E / 35.5219917; 135.5039556
Construction began April 25, 1970 (1970-04-25)
Commission date November 14, 1974 (1974-11-14)
Operator(s) The Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc.
Nuclear power station
Reactor type PWR
Reactor supplier Westinghouse
Cooling source Wakasa Bay, Sea of Japan
Cooling towers no
Power generation
Units operational 2 x 826 MW
2 x 870 MW
Nameplate capacity 3,392 MW
Capacity factor 76.2%
Average generation 22,638 GW·h

The Takahama Nuclear Power Plant (高浜原子力発電所 Takahama genshiryoku hatsudensho?, Takahama NPP) is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Takahama, Ōi District, Fukui Prefecture. It is owned and operated by the Kansai Electric Power Company. It is on a site with an area of about 1 km2. The four pressurized water reactors give the plant a total gross electric capacity of 3,392 MW and average yearly production of 22,638 GW·h (averaged on 2006-2010 data).

Reactors on Site[edit]

Name Reactor Type Manufacturer Commission date Power Rating Fuel
Takahama - 1 PWR Westinghouse Electric November 14, 1974 826 MW
Takahama - 2 PWR Mitsubishi Heavy Industries November 14, 1975 826 MW
Takahama - 3 PWR Mitsubishi Heavy Industries January 17, 1985 870 MW MOX from January 2011
Takahama - 4 PWR Mitsubishi Heavy Industries June 5, 1985 870 MW


Maintenance in 2012[edit]

On 17 February 2012, Kansai Electric Power Co. announced that on 21 February 2012 reactor no. 3 would be taken off the grid for a regular checkup and maintenance. After that date, only two commercial nuclear power plants were still operating in Japan: The no. 6 reactor of TEPCO at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in prefecture Niigata, which was scheduled for checkups on 26 March 2012, and the No. 3 reactor at the Tomari plant in Hokkaido of Hokkaido Electric Power Co.; their regular maintenance was planned in late April 2012.[1][2] From 5 May until 1 July 2012, Japan had no operating nuclear power plants. In July Ōi Nuclear Power Plant units 3 and 4 became Japan's only operating nuclear power plants. However, those plants were later taken offline.

First nuclear fuel shipment since Fukushima[edit]

On 17 April 2013, a shipment of highly radioactive nuclear fuel to Japan left the port of Cherbourg in northern France, for the first time since the Fukushima disaster. The MOX shipment is destined for Kansai Electric Power Co's Takahama nuclear plant west of Tokyo. MOX fuel contains around 7% plutonium.[3]

Court decision forbids restart[edit]

As of 16 April 2015, the Takahama reactors were ordered to remain offline by a Japanese court, which cited continued safety concerns. The Fukui District Court rejected a "stay" on its original ruling that, despite approval to restart the plants from Japan's governmental Nuclear Regulation Authority (an agency formed in 2012,) approval guidelines issued by the agency were "lacking in rationality" and "too loose." The Fukui Court issued a similar injunction against the restart of Oi units 3&4 in May, 2014. Former Tokyo high court judge and current Chou Law School Professor Jun Masuda criticized Fukui Judge Hideaki Higuchi, who headed the court panel, “It seems the judge has already had the idea of demanding absolute safety from the beginning. Judges are not experts on nuclear power plants, so it is imperative that they humbly pay attention to scientific knowledge. I doubt the presiding judge took that into consideration.” Japan News (Yomiuri Shimbun) also criticized the Fukui decision, “We have no choice but to call it an irrational decision,” and, “Such a stance seeking zero risk is unrealistic.” An appeal by Kansai Electric Company was rejected by the same court in May, 2015.[4][5]


Unit 3 was restarted on 29 January 2016.[6]

Reactor No. 4 started leaking at the Takahama plant in February the 21st. Kansai Electric Power stated that about 34 liters of radioactive water have escaped the plant’s reactor No. 4. The official said the alarm went off as soon as water was injected into a pipe connecting to the reactor’s first cooling system the same day. An eight-liter pool was discovered, but traces of the contaminated water across the floor indicated a total of 34 liters had managed to spill. This amounted to about 64,000 becquerels of radioactive waste. [7]

Unit 4 was restarted on 27 February 2016.[8]

Failure of Unit 4[edit]

On 29 February 2016, after three days of operation, Unit 4 shut down one second after it started generating power.[9] The cause was stated to be a "main transformer/generator internal failure."[10]

Court injunction halts Units 3 and 4[edit]

On 9 March 2016, the Otsu district court in Shiga prefecture issued an injunction to halt operation of Unit 3 and Unit 4, citing the concerns of local residents. Unit 3 is to begin shutdown operations at 10:00 AM on 10 March 2016 and be completed within 12 hours. Unit 4, which had been shut down in February due to an internal failure, will not be restarted as a result of the injunction.[11][10]

Units 1 and 2 license extensions approved[edit]

On 20 June 2016, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), approved a 20-year license extensions for units 1 and 2. The two units are now authorized to operate until 2034 and 2035. It is the first NRA approved 20-year extension beyond the initial 40-year life of a reactor. Additional safety measures will take three years to be completed, giving a 2019 restart year, at the earliest.[12]


External links[edit]