A regional local government in Japan, the office of Governor Tokihiro Nakamura of Ehime prefecture, has given its approval to restart the Ikata nuclear power plant, which would be the third in the country to go back online after complying with post-Fukushima Daiichi safety standards.
The governor said he approved the restart, due to nuclear power's affordability and reliability, according to Japanese media reports.
The plant, which was the fifth to be get permission to restart from the Nuclear Regulation Authority, is not expected to go back online until January 2016.
Only two of Japan's reactors at the Sendai power plant have been fired up since the moratorium on nuclear power closed all of the country's plants for about two years.
Twenty-five out of the country's nuclear plants are in some stage of seeking permission to restart. Analysts project by 2030 Japan, which previously had 48 plants running, will have 22 percent of its electricity from nuclear generation. Prior to the plant closures, about 30 percent of Japan's electricity came from nuclear power.
The Ikata NPP is owned and operated by the Shikoku Electric Power Company. The facility has two Mitsubishi 2-loop reactors with 566 megawatt capacities. They were commissioned in September 1977 and March 1982, respectively. The third is a Mitsubishi/Westinghouse 3-loop rector with a capacity of 890 megawatts. It was commissioned in December 1994.
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