Japan Delays Nuke Plant Start-Up

Japan Delays Nuke Plant Start-UpJapan Delays Nuke Plant Start-Up

Japan’s electricity wholesaler Electric Power Development said on Friday it has pushed back the projected commercial start of its first nuclear power plant by two years to 2024/25, reflecting a delay in the regulator’s safety review.

The review of the project in northern Japan for its ability to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis by the Nuclear Regulation Authority is ongoing and taking longer than initially expected, the company said, Reuters reported.

Before a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011, J-Power had expected to start commercial operations of its 1,383-megawatt Ohma nuclear plant in 2014. But the schedule was delayed when more stringent safety requirements were imposed.

The company last year projected it would begin safety-improvement works on the plant from November 2016, but that is being delayed by about two years, a company spokesman said. The work is now expected to be complete in the second half of 2023, the spokesman said.

The start of commercial operation is expected sometime between April 2024-March 2025, he said, after a year of testing.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and much of Japanese industry want the country’s reactors to be switched on again to cut fuel bills, but opinion polls show a majority of the public oppose the move. The industry has applied to reboot 25 reactors, with five cleared for restart.