The Tōkai Nuclear Power Plant was Japan's first nuclear power plant. It was built in the early 1960s to the British Magnox design, and generated power from 1966 until it was decommissioned in 1998. A second nuclear plant, built at the site in the 1970s, was the first in Japan to produce over 1000 MW of electricity, and still produces power as of 2009. The site is located in Tokai in the Naka District in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan and is operated by the Japan Atomic Power Company.

Tokai Nuclear Power Plant Reactors

Unit Type Average electric power Capacity Construction started Construction completed First criticality Closure
Tōkai I Magnox (GCR) 159 MW 166 MW March 1, 1961 November 10, 1965 July 25, 1966 March 31, 1988
Tōkai II BWR 1060 MW 1100 MW October 3, 1973 March 13, 1978 November 28, 1978

Unit 1

This reactor was built based on British developed Magnox technology. Unit 1 will be the first nuclear reactor to be decommissioned in Japan. The experience in decommissioning this plant is expected to be of use in the future when more Japanese plants are decommissioned. Below is a brief time-line of the process.

  • March 31, 1998: operations cease
  • March 2001: last of the nuclear fuel moved off-site
  • October 4, 2001: decommissioning plan announced
  • December 2001: decommissioning begins, spent fuel pool is cleaned
  • 2003: turbine room and electric generator taken down
  • Late 2004: fuel moving crane dismantled
  • 2011: the reactor itself is dismantled

Tokai Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2

This Boiling Water Reactor was the first nuclear reactor built in Japan to produce over 1000 MW of electricity. By some formalities in the paperwork, the unit is technically separate from the rest of the nuclear facilities at Tokai-mura, but it is managed with the rest of them and even shares the same front gate. The power produced at the unit is sold by both the Tokyo Electric Company and the Tohoku Electric Company.

Tokai Nuclear Power Plant After 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

The number 2 reactor at Tōkai Nuclear Power Plant was shut down automatically. On 14 March it was reported that a cooling system pump for this reactor had stopped working; however, the Japan Atomic Power Company stated that there was a second operational pump sustaining the cooling system, but that two of three diesel generators used to power the cooling system were out of order.

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