The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, is shutting down a reactor at a nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, for a regular inspection.
The utility began inserting control rods into the No. 1 reactor of the Kashiwazaki-kariwa plant on Friday evening. The reactor is expected to reduce its power output and stop operating by Saturday morning to undergo the inspection for about two months.
The shutdown means that of Japan’s 54 reactors, 39, or over 70 percent, are out of service. Only three of TEPCO’s 17 reactors are operating.
The plant’s No. 7 reactor is also expected to be shut down, in late August. TEPCO says it will increase its electricity supply from thermal plants.
There are no prospects for restarting the reactors.
Earlier, Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida said he will not determine whether to allow restarting of the reactors unless investigation results into the nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant are presented.