Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun taking steps to shut down a nuclear reactor in Niigata prefecture, on the Japan Sea coast, for regular inspections.
With the shutdown of the No. 7 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-kariwa nuclear power plant early Tuesday, 74 percent of Japan’s nuclear reactors will be out of service.
The company started taking steps to gradually halt power generation at the No. 7 reactor on Monday afternoon. Power is to be halted before dawn on Tuesday.
The reactor is scheduled to be suspended for regular checkups for about 3 months.
Operation of the No. 1 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-kariya plant was stopped on August 6th.
With the shutdown of the No. 7 reactor, only 2 nuclear reactors out of 17 operated by TEPCO will be in service.
This means 40 out of 54 nuclear reactors in Japan will be inactive.
TEPCO says it will make up for the power loss by generating thermal and hydropower. At the same time, the utility is calling on consumers to continue saving energy.
Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida stated earlier that a decision to restart the reactors within the prefecture will be made only after results of the investigation into the Fukushima plant nuclear accident are presented.