The Independent Assessment of Nuclear Developments in the World

Home > News > Essential News > Third Reactor Restarted in Japan—Takahama-3 Restarted/Connected to the (...)

Third Reactor Restarted in Japan—Takahama-3 Restarted/Connected to the Grid

Saturday 30 January 2016

Third Reactor Restarted in Japan—Takahama-3 Restarted/Connected to the Grid

30 January 2016, updated/corrected on 1 February 2016

After nearly four years of outage, the Takahama-3 reactor, located in Fukui Prefecture in the Chubu region of Japan, was restarted on 29 January and connected to the grid on 1 February 2016. The same day operation restarted at unit 3, owner Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) began loading fuel into the Takahama-4 reactor, with plans to restart not before late March. Unit 3 had been shutdown since 20 February 2012. KEPCO submitted an application for review of the reactor by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in July 2013.

Both Takahama reactors were subject to an injunction preventing restart issued by the Fukui District Court in April 2015. The court ruled in favor of local citizens, who charged that the safety regulations of the NRA were inadequate and that, amongst other safety issues, the Takahama reactors remained vulnerable to seismic risks. On 24 December 2015, the injunction was overturned on an appeal filed by KEPCO, which opened the way for restart. The case has now been addressed to the Kanazawa High Court, where an appeal on the decision filed by citizens will hear evidence on the multiple safety issues that have raised concerns within the wider Kansai region, including prefectural governments in Shiga and Kyoto.

Both Takahama reactors will be the first operating in Japan with a percentage of plutonium fuel. The plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel or MOX was supplied by the French company AREVA, with 24 assemblies in reactor unit 3 and a planned 4 assemblies in unit 4.

The restart of Takahama-3, leaves 37 reactors (including Monju) in Japan in Long Term Outage (LTO) since none of these have generated electricity during 2014 or 2015. WNISR considers that all 10 Fukushima units are shut down and will never restart.

What They Say…

“The Report sets forth in painstaking detail the actual experience and achievements of nuclear energy around the world.”

Peter A. Bradford

Former commissioner
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
(in his foreword to the 2013 report)
“A vital public service... Uniquely independent, thorough, and timely assessment."

Amory B. Lovins

Chairman, Rocky Mountain Institute
“This annual publication has over 20 years evolved into the most reliable, strikingly original, comprehensive and penetrating assessment of the global nuclear industry.”

Praful Bidwai

Financial Chronicle
Delhi, India
"Amid the hype and PR, the smoke and mirrors, of the 'nuclear renaissance', the Status Report offers a hard-edged reality check."

Walt Patterson

Associate Fellow Chatham House
London, UK
“Fantastic piece of work. Must reading for any observer of nuclear energy."

Henri Sokolski

Executive Director Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
Washington DC, USA
“Reliable research based on cold, hard facts, unlike the hype and amnesia of industry sources.”

Scott Ludlam

“Félicitations pour la dernière édition du WNISR. Formidable comme d'habitude!”

Fulcieri Maltini

International Consultant Former Director of the Nuclear Safety Account, EBRD
“Thought-provoking as usual.”

Will Dalrymple

Editor Nuclear Engineering International
"The authoritative report on the status of nuclear power plants worldwide is the World Nuclear Industry Status Report."


Bangkok, Thailand
“Such an illuminating report.”

Sam Geall

Deputy Editor China Dialogue
London, UK
"An astounding collection of facts and figures, a myth-busting international overview… An eye-opening piece of work!"

R. Andreas Krämer

Chairman Ecologic Institute
Berlin, Germany
“I really appreciate you letting us excerpt your report! It’s incredibly well researched and comprehensive, so thank you!”

Stuart Luman

Associate Editor Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists