The Wall Street Journal just reported:
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday it will suspend operations of the No. 6 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on March 26 for a periodic check, a plan that will take all of its 17 reactors out of service, Kyodo News reported.
The No. 6 reactor with a power output of 1.356 million kilowatts is the last to be suspended out of the plant’s seven reactors.
It will be the first time all 17 units have been halted since the April 15-May 6 period of 2002, when they were suspended after a public outcry over revelations that TEPCO had hidden problems at its nuclear plants.
The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear facility, home to seven reactors, suffered a 6.6 magnitude earthquake on July 16, 2007. A major fire damaged the Unit 3 turbine building. Canisters of nuclear waste were overturned and were breached. Radioactive water flowed from the plant into the sea. It was the first time that an earthquake caused a Japanese reactor to leak radioactive water to the sea. It took 16 months to bring the first reactor back on line. Unit 6 restarted in August 2009.
Unit 6 is an advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR). Once considered the go-to reactor for the nuclear renaissance, the operation history of the ABWR has not met industry expectations. The proposed expansion of the South Texas Project would have involved building two new ABWRs. That plan is now on hold.
There were not many ABWRs in service around the world. Two of these are at Kasiwazaki-Kariwa. Just off the top of my head, I am not sure that there is a single advanced boiling water reactor currently producing electricity anywhere in the world at this hour.
Here’s a link to the WSJ article: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japans-tepco-to-suspend-all-nuclear-operations-2012-02-09