by Greg Klein | July 27, 2015
The date has moved back and forth a few times but Japan’s Sendai 1 nuclear reactor now has August 10 pencilled in for potential start-up. “Kyushu Electric Power Company plans to apply to regulators for the final ‘applied safety inspection’ of Sendai 1 on 3 August,” according to a July 27 World Nuclear News dispatch. “This check is expected to take one week, making 10 August a potential start-up date.” Sendai 1 would be Japan’s first operating reactor after a country-wide shutdown following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
Fuel loading began earlier this month, when September was anticipated for operation. The utility is now starting the 890-megawatt pressurized water reactor while the Nuclear Regulatory Authority oversees safety checks, the WNN added.
“Another 20 reactors are behind Sendai in the restart process, which is expected to gradually speed up after the first few units are back in normal operation,” the WNN stated. “The Japanese government envisages a return to using nuclear power for 20% to 22% of electricity by 2030 as part of a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 26% compared to fiscal year 2013.”
Prior to Fukushima, Japan produced nearly 30% of its electricity through nuclear energy, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Industry observers anticipate an increase in uranium’s low post-Fukushima prices as any excess Japanese inventory diminishes and confidence returns to the sector.