Japan’s Shikoku Electric Power Co closed unit 3 at its Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture on 3 October for planned maintenance. The shutdown of the 890MWe reactor will reduce the number of Japanese nuclear units online to four, with a combined capacity of 3.52GWe.
Shikoku Electric expects the reactor to resume power generation in mid January 2018 with commercial operations to follow in mid-February. Many of Japan's 42 operable reactors are still going through a relicensing process following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which highlighted regulatory and operational failings at nuclear utilities.
The other units currently online are Kansai Electric Power Company’s Takahama 4 in Fukui Prefecture and Kyushu Electric Power Company’s Sendai 1&2 in Kagoshima Prefecture. According to the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, 12 nuclear units at six sites have now been approved as meeting the new regulatory standards.