This article was originally posted July 21st 2017. It will be continuously updated as the status changes.
Following the 2011 Tsunami that led to the meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Power plant, all Japans 42 operable reactors were shut down. All reactors must meet a series of regulatory requirements as well as receive local government consent.
Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics stated in December 2013 it estimates seven reactors will be restarted by the end of March 2017 and another 19 by March 2018. However, only 5 reactors are currently online. As of March 2017, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) are considering restart applications for 26 reactors.
Fukushima Daiichi (6 reactors)
All 6 reactors were decommissioned after the March 2011 meltdown.
Another 2 reactors were scheduled to start construction in April 2011. The plans were scrapped after the meltdown. The two reactors had was panned to be online in October 2016 and October 2017 generating 1380 MW each.
The 6 reactors had a capacity of 4,696 MW.
Fukushima Daini (4 reactors)
All 4 units are currently suspended.
The 4 reactors of the “Fukushima II” power plant, located 12km north of the decomissioned Fukushima Daiichi plant, sufferd only minor demages from the 2011 earthquake and following tsunami.
While owner TEPCO are focusing on the cleanup on the Fukushima Daiichi site, they are working on re-starting their Fukushima Daini reactors. The 4 reactors has a combined capacity of 4,400 MW.
On October 3rd 2017 TEPCO recieved approval from Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority to restart reactors 6 and 7 by unanimous votes. Despite the approval, it is still expected to take years for the reactors to go back in operation as it is expected to encounter strong opposition from the public in the Niigata prefecture.
The governor of Niigita, Ryuichi Yoney stated that he will not decide on whether to agree on the restarts until TEPCO has completed it’s review of the Fukushima accident. The review is expected not expected to be completed in another 2 to 3 years.
Genkai (4 reactors)
Unit 1 (550 MW) has been decommissioned.
In January 2017, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) confirmed that Unit 3 and 4 meet new regulatory standards. Although there are opposing views from neighboring communities, the Governor of Saga prefecture has given a green light on the restart of Unit 3 and 4. In June 2017 a court dismissed an injunction against the restarts.
On September 15th 2017 Kyushu Electric revealed their plans to restart commercial operations for Unit 3 in January 2018 and Unit 4 in April 2018.
The 2 reactors have a combined capacity of 2,360 MW.
There has been little news concerning the faith of the Genkai Unit 2 (550 MW).
Hamaoka (3 reactors)
Units 1-2 were decommissioned in 2009, pre-Fukushima.
Units 3-5 are currently suspended. Operator Chubu Electic Power wants has applied to the NRA to restart Unit 3 and 4, while they are expected to deliver a restart application for unit 5 in September 2017.
As the power plant is built in an area expected to have a 87% likelihood to be hit by a major earthquake, restart attempts have been met by heavy opposition. In March 2016 the construction of a 22-meter high seawall was completed. The utility has spent $3.56 billion in an attempt to improve safety measures.
Higashidōri (1 reactor)
Unit 1 (1,10 MW) was in maintenance shutdown during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and suffered no damages.
In 2012 a panel of the Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority decided that two geological faults under the power plant might be active. The utility has been criticized for denying the faults.
The reactor remains suspended and no restart application has been filed.
Another 3 other rectors planned for construction were put on hold after the 2011 accident.
Ikata (3 reactors)
Unit 3 (890 MW) resumed operation in September 2016. In April 2017, the Hiroshima District Court rejected an attempt by activists to halt operations.
The operator made the decision to decommission Unit 1 (566 MW) at a meeting on 25 March 2016. The reactors operating period was due to end in September 2017, but the operator could have applied to extend its license for a further 20 years. Safety measures exceeding $1.5 billion would have been needed at Ikata 1 in order to operate beyond its 40 years license.
Unit 2 (566 MW) is still suspended.
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (7 reactors)
All seven reactors are currently suspended.
The modern power plant was the largest generation station in the world with a total capacity of 8,212 MW.
All units were suspended following a 2007 earthquake. Unit 1 and 5-7 were restarted in 2009 following upgrades and again suspended after the Fukushima accident. Unit 2-4wase never restarted.
Operator TEPCO are conetplating restarts 2019 through 2021, but it’s unclear wether the plans will be able to go forward as Niigata Governour Ryuichi Yoneyama is still undecided on the matter. Gevernour Yoneyama has stated that it he is awaiting an assessment of the Fukushima disaster which is is likely to take several years.
Mihama (3 reactors)
Unit 1 and 2 were decommissioned following the regulations after the 2011 Fukushima disaster which limited the life-time of all reactors to 40 years. The operator decided to scrap the 2 reactors as they believed it was economical to invest in upgrades given the reletivly small output the reactor generate.
Unit 3 (826 MW) is currently suspended. Regulators approved an application to extend the reactors life beyond 40 years. The reactor which tuned 40 years in December 2016 is now licenced fro operations until 2036. Safety upgrades are currently underway and a restart is scheduled for 2020.
Ōi (4 reactors)
All 4 units are currently suspended.
Unit 3 and 4 were restarted in 2012, the first restarted reactors after the Fukushima disaster. The units were again suspended in 2013 for regular maintenance and were never restarted. The units were in May 2017 approved for restarts by the NRA despite a lawsuit filed by local residents to block the continuing operation.
September 26th 2017, the Mayor of Ōi gave his consent to restarting Unit 3 and 4. Operator Kansai Electric still needs to obtain approval from the Fukui Perfecual Government.
Update November 27th 2017: Governor Issei Nishikawa gives plant restart a green light. The Ōi town government has previously done the same. This clears the last hurdles for Kansai Electric, who now plans to restart unit 3 in January and unit 4 in March.
Onagawa (3 reactors)
All 3 units are currently suspended.
The Onagawa power plant was the closest to the March 2011 earthquake epicenter. Following a 2012 IAEA inspection, the agency stated; “The structural elements of the NPS (nuclear power station) were remarkably undamaged given the magnitude of ground motion experienced and the duration and size of this great earthquake”.
All reactors were safely shut down, but Owner Tohoku Electric have later admitted that there is significant structural damage.
In 2013 an application was sent for a restart of the unit 2 reactor, but further safety upgrades have later been imposed and construction is now scheduled to finish between October 2018 and March 2019.
There is little news available on the scheduling of the Onagawa unit 1 and 3 at the moment.
Sendai (2 reactors)
The 2 units with a total capacity of 1,780 MW was restarted August 2016. Both reactors were taken offline in late 2016 following a 2-month routine outage and resumed operations again in early 2017.
Shika (2 reactors)
Both units are currently suspended.
The 2 units have a total capacity of 1,898 MW. Upgrades to the power plant have been completed, but a dispute regarding an active quake fault underneath the power plant has hampered restart negotiations.
NRA experts upheld its findings of the active quake fault in March 2016 and it is looking increasingly likely that the power plant will never again come online.
Shimane (3 reactors)
Unit 1 (460 MWe capacity) has been decommissioned. Unit 2 and 3 are currently suspended.
The utility has applied for a restart of the 820 MW capacity Unit 2 and plans to to the same with the 1373 MW capacity Unit 3 once Unit 2 is cleared to restart. Unit 3 was under construction during the 2011 earthquake. Construction was suspended, but is now underway again and soon to be finished.
The NRA is still reviewing the restart applications.
Takahama (4 reactors)
Unit 3 and 4 were restarted in May 22 2017 and June 6 2017 respecticly. The units has a combined capacity of 1,740 MW.
Units 1 and 2 are awaiting additional safety measuers with a restart at earlist in 2019. On 20 June 2016 the NRA approved a 20-year licence extension. The suspended units has a combined capacity of 1,652 MW.
Tōkai (1 reactors)
The 1100 MW capacity unit is currently suspended.
The rectors allowed liftetime of 40 years will pass March 2018, however, an operating license can be granted for up to 20 years with the approval of the NRA.
A special inspection needs to be completed by November in order for the utility to apply for the extension.
Tomari (3 reactors)
All 3 reactors are currently suspended.
Tsuruga (2 reactors)
Unit 1 is due for decommissioning. Unit 2 is suspended.
Unit 1 is the oldest commercial reactor in Japan. It was shut down for safety inspections a few months before the 2011 earthquake and has never gone back online. In March 2015 it was announced that the reactor would be decommissioned.
The utility is keen on a restart for the 1160 MWe capacity unit 2, but it largely depends on the outcome of expert assessments being done to check if the power plant might be sitting on an active seismic fault. The NRA has accepted
The NRA has accepted 2 reports with conflicting conclusions, making a restart unlikely.
Another 2 reactors have been under planning since 2004, but the seismic faults under reactor 2 might also have implications to the planned unit 3 and 4.