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REFILING: LEAD: 'Pluthermal' power generation starts at Fukushima No. 1 nuke plant.

FUKUSHIMA, Japan, Sept. 18 Kyodo


Tokyo Electric Power Co. started its first plutonium-thermal power generation, known as pluthermal, at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Saturday morning, the utility company said.

The launch came after the company had trouble starting up the No. 3 reactor at the power plant, located in the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, and postponed the activation initially scheduled for Friday evening.

The company said the alarm light indicating the conditions of the pipe valve for the emergency core cooling system did not function properly. There were no problems with the pipe and the valve, according to the company.

The No. 3 reactor is the third in Japan used for pluthermal generation, following Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture and Shikoku Electric Power Co.'s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture. It is the only one of the three to have undergone antiaging treatment more than 30 years since its launch.

Tokyo Electric plans to generate electricity at the No. 3 reactor in several days and to start commercial operations after a final state inspection scheduled for Oct. 26.

Plutermal, a Japanese word that combines ''plutonium'' and ''thermal,'' uses plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel, known as MOX.

The utility company had initially intended to start pluthermal in 2000, but the plan was suspended in the wake of mismanagements involving some power companies.

In August, Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato finally approved pluthermal power generation at the plant.
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Publication:Japan Energy Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Sep 20, 2010
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