• Ikata unit #3 loaded fuel over the weekend. The operation should be completed late today. The 890 MWe Pressurized Water Reactor plant is expected to restart late next month, with full commercial operation in August. Three 20-member teams effected the fuel loading in round-the-clock shifts. The Reactor Pressure Vessel holds 157 fuel bundles, sixteen of which are Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel. MOX is a mixture of recycled Uranium and Plutonium from used fuel bundles. Because MOX contains Plutonium, it has been focus of most Japanese Press reports, even though only 10% of the core (sixteen bundles) is MOX. The Nuclear Regulation Authority approved Shikoku Electric’s safety upgrades last July, meeting Japan’s post-Fukushima regulations. Pre-operational checks have been going on since April. Ikata will be the third station to have a restart in Japan, and Ikata #3 will be the fifth such unit. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160624_20/http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003038243http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/shikoku-electric-begins-loading-fuel-at-reactor-for-late-july-restart?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2016-06-24_PM
  • A smattering of people protested the Ikata #3 fuel loading. The number of demonstrators at the nuke station was estimated at “around ten”. They chanted typical antinuclear slogans and read a statement protesting the fuel insertion. The demonstrators allege that the transmission system cannot withstand powerful earthquakes and the nuke plant’s safety cannot be guaranteed. One demonstrator said the fuel load is hasty, and should be delayed until the full impact of the Kumamoto earthquake on Kyushu Island nukes is known. [Aside – The full impact of the quake on the Kyushu Island nukes has been known since immediately following the quake. There was exactly zero safety impact. However, local nuke activists refuse to believe the truth. – End Aside] Ikata station is on Shikoku Island – not Kyushu Island – 170 kilometers from Kumamoto. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160624_21/
  • A Japanese court approves use of MOX fuels. The Fukuoka High Court says there is no evidence proving that MOX raises the possibility of a nuclear accident. Plaintiffs had filed for an injunction against using MOX fuel, specific to Genkai unit #3, in Saga District Court in March, 2015. The petition was rejected. Undaunted, the plaintiffs appealed to the high court, and the appeal has been similarly quashed. High Court presiding Judge Tsuyoshi Daiku said MOX fuel, and the Genkai unit #3 spent fuel pool “meet the standards set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. [Owner] Kyushu Electric has confirmed their safety.” The plaintiffs had argued that MOX fuel is inherently flawed because gaps can occur between the fuel pellets and cladding during operation, and produce malfunctions resulting in catastrophic meltdown. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160627/p2g/00m/0dm/074000chttp://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2016062700580http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003044143