Tepco Flagship Nuclear Plant to Load First Fuel Since Fukushima

image is BloomburgMedia_SBYP7OT0AFB400_15-04-2024_12-00-06_638487360000000000.jpg

The Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power station in Niigata Prefecture.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. will load fuel at the idled Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant, the world’s biggest, for the first time since curbs introduced following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, as Japan continues efforts to revive its atomic fleet.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority on Monday approved the plans to insert fuel rods at the No. 7 reactor at the site in Niigata prefecture. The plant will still need to complete additional inspections and win consent from the local governor — which is not guaranteed — before Tepco can restart generation.

Tepco advanced as much as 5.8% in Tokyo trading as of 11:27 a.m. local time. Shares of other regional utilities including Chubu Electric Power Co. also gained.


Approval for fuel loading is a step forward for Tepco’s facility, which has been halted since the Fukushima nuclear disaster brought all of Japan’s reactors offline. Kashiwazaki Kariwa has faced additional complications to a restart after security breaches in 2021. 

Japan’s government is aiming to accelerate the restart of nuclear reactors that are currently offline as the nation aims to secure stable electricity supply and lower its greenhouse gas emissions. The nation’s trade minister dispatched a high-ranking official last month to meet with the Niigata governor to seek his support for restarting the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant. 

Tepco will start loading the reactor with fuel from around 4 p.m. local time, the utility said. The process can typically take about two weeks.

  • Japan’s next-day electricity price was 10.5 yen/kWh on Monday, down 8.7% from a week earlier when it was 11.51 yen/kWh, according to the Japan Electric Power Exchange
  • Eastern and western Japan have 80% chance of seeing above-normal temperatures for the month period ending May 12, Japan Meteorological Agency said in Thursday’s forecast
  • Baseload Tokyo power for April delivery on EEX settled at 10.96 yen/kWh on Friday, up 4.9% from previous week
    • May contract at 11.58 yen/kWh, up 12%
  • Other Japan power market related news:
    • J-Power to Acquire Genex Power for A$351m

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Shoko Oda


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