Restart of Shimane Nuclear Plant Reactor Postponed Until Autumn or Later; Schedule Change Due to Delayed Completion of Safety Measures

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s Shimane nuclear power plant No. 2 reactor, left, is seen in Matsue.

Chugoku Electric Power Co. is expected to postpone the restart of a reactor at its Shimane nuclear power plant in Matsue. The initial restart schedule was set for August this year and will likely be pushed back until autumn or later, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The reason for the schedule change is believed to be a delay in completing safety measures for the No. 2 reactor at the plant. Details will be announced soon by the electric power firm.

Chugoku Electric Power said it would put nuclear fuel into the reactor in June this year, resume operation in August and use the reactor on a commercial basis in September.

However, due to delayed safety measures that were supposed to be completed by the end of May, the electric company judged it difficult to restart the reactor as initially intended. The company will report the schedule change and other issues to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The Shimane No. 2 reactor is a boiling water reactor (BWR), like Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant that suffered significant damage from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. If the Shimane reactor restarts, it would be the first BWR to begin operating in the nation since the disaster.

Tohoku Electric Power Co. aims to restart the No. 2 reactor at its Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture in September. The reactor at the plant is also a BWR. There is a possibility that the Onagawa reactor would restart before the Shimane one.

The Shimane No. 2 reactor has not been in operation since January 2012, when a regular examination was held.

Shimane Gov. Tatsuya Maruyama announced the prefectural government’s approval of the restart in June 2022.