Operator will restart Ikata reactor next month

The operator of the Ikata nuclear power plant in western Japan says it will restart one of the reactors next month, saying it has gained the understanding of the local government authorities involved.

The No.3 reactor at the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture has been offline since December 2019, when operations were suspended for regular inspections.

Since then, there has been a series of serious problems.

These include a case in which a control rod was mistakenly removed from the reactor, and another in which an individual on emergency standby went off duty without permission.

The plant's operator, Shikoku Electric Power Company, has laid out measures aimed at preventing recurrences, which it explained to officials of Ehime Prefecture, Ikata Town and others concerned.

Earlier this month, the local governments gave the green light for the reactor to be restarted on condition that safety is the top priority.

On Monday, the utility said at a news conference that it will restart the reactor on December 2 and begin power transmission four days later. Commercial operations are set to resume on January 4.

A senior utility official told reporters that the company will do its utmost to recover the trust of local residents and maintain safe operations.