Another nuclear reactor has gone offline for regular inspections in Japan. Three-quarters of the country’s reactors are now out of service, putting a strain on power supplies.
Tokyo Electric Power Company halted operations of the No.7 reactor at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture early Tuesday. The regular checkup normally lasts about 3 months.
TEPCO operates 17 reactors, including those at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant. But only 2 are now in operation. Across Japan, 40 reactors are out of service, or three-quarters of the total.
TEPCO says it can keep power output unchanged by installing additional gas turbines at thermal power plants.
The governor of Niigata has said he won’t even consider allowing TEPCO’s idle reactors to start up until an investigation into the Fukushima nuclear accident has been concluded.
The central government has meanwhile ordered utilities to carry out rigorous safety tests on all halted reactors, in response to the Fukushima accident.