Takahama Nuclear Power Plant

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Takahama Nuclear Power Plant
Takahama Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Takahama Nuclear Power Plant
CountryJapan
LocationTakahama, Fukui Prefecture
Coordinates35°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
StatusOperational
Construction beganApril 25, 1970 (1970-04-25)
Commission dateNovember 14, 1974 (1974-11-14)
Operator(s)The Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc.
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierWestinghouse
MHI
Cooling sourceWakasa Bay, Sea of Japan
Power generation
Units operational2 x 826 MW
2 x 870 MW
Nameplate capacity3,392 MW
External links
Websitewww.kepco.co.jp
CommonsRelated media on Commons

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).

From 2012 to 2016 the plant was shut down most of the time, with only reactor 3 briefly in operation, due to technical problems and opposition from local residents. Unit 3 and 4 were eventually restarted in May and June 2017.

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

History[edit]

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.

On 17 April 2013, a shipment of MOX nuclear fuel to Japan left the port of Cherbourg in northern France, for the first time since the Fukushima disaster, destined for Takahama nuclear plant. 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]

Restarting and shutdowns[edit]

Unit 3 was restarted on 29 January 2016[5] and Unit 4 on 27 February 2016.[6] However, on 29 February 2016, after three days of operation, the unit was shut down one second after it started generating power.[7] The cause was stated to be a "main transformer/generator internal failure."[8]

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 was therefore shutdown on 10 March 2016.[9][8]

License extensions and latest restarts[edit]

On 28 March 2017, the Osaka High Court (one of eight high courts in Japan, each with jurisdiction over one of eight territories), canceled the injunction from the district court.[10]

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.[11]

On May 22, 2017, unit 4 was restarted,[12] followed by unit 3 on June 6, 2017.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Mainichi Shimbun (18 February 2012)Another reactor to shut down, leaving only 2 units online in Japan
  2. ^ JAIF (20 February 2012)Earthquake report 352: Last KEPCO nuclear reactor to be shutdown Monday
  3. ^ "Nuclear fuel leaves French port for Japan, first since Fukushima". 18 April 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2017 – via Reuters.
  4. ^ "Japanese nuclear plants stay shut, court rules". 19 May 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Takahama plant's No. 3 reactor reaches criticality". 30 January 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2017 – via Japan Times Online.
  6. ^ Sputnik (27 February 2016). "Stable Chain Reaction at Unit 4 of Japan's Takahama Nuclear Plant to Start". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Takahama Unit 4 Restart Hits A Snag - News - Nuclear Power News - Nuclear Street - Nuclear Power Plant News, Jobs, and Careers". 2 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Kensai Electric Power To Take Takahama Unit 3 Offline - News - Nuclear Power News - Nuclear Street - Nuclear Power Plant News, Jobs, and Careers". 9 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Japan court issues injunction to halt Takahama nuclear reactors". 9 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2017 – via Reuters.
  10. ^ "Higher court cancels injunction that halted Takahama reactors". asia.nikkei.com. 28 March 2017. Archived from the original on 28 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ Kitabayashi, Koji (20 June 2016). "NRA gives 1st OK to extend life of aging reactors by 20 years". www.asahi.com. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. ^ Start of Power Generation at Takahama Unit No. 4
  13. ^ Japan's Fifth Re-Activated Reactor -- Takahama 3 -- Is Restarted

External links[edit]