8 Janvier 2015
January 7, 2014
FUKUI -- Kansai Electric Power Co. President Makoto Yagi said on Jan. 6 that his company will sign safety agreements, if requested, with local governments that lie outside a 30-kilometer radius of the utility's nuclear power plants.
After visiting Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa to give New Year's greetings, Yagi told reporters, "We don't insist on 30 kilometers (from nuclear power plants)." He was referring to safety agreements that oblige utilities to thoroughly disclose information, among other details, in order to gain the approval of prefectural and local governments hosting their nuclear plants to restart their idled nuclear reactors.
Yagi said his company would be able to sign safety agreements with local governments that lie outside the 30-kilometer radius of its nuclear power stations, including the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant, in the so-called Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone, if requested. "We don't stop at 30 kilometers, and if requested, I think we will be able to sign safety agreements in accordance with the details of such requests," he said.
There are cases in which the utility signed safety agreements -- similar to those with local governments hosting its nuclear plants -- with local governments that were not hosting nuclear plants. Yagi then said his company would like to consult with local governments concerned in light of the "spirit" with which the utility had signed safety agreements with local governments that were hosting its nuclear power stations.
In the case of the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, radioactive substances spread far beyond the 30-kilometer radius of the nuclear complex, among other types of damage.
Yagi expressed his intention to sign safety agreements with local governments that lie outside the 30-kilometer radius of the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture because his company wants to restart the power station at an early date by signing safety pacts that could reassure residents of Kyoto and Shiga prefectures that lie near the border of the 30-kilometer radius. But residents of Kyoto and Shiga prefectures are strongly opposed to any move to reactivate the nuclear plant.
Kansai Electric is reluctant to sign safety agreements -- similar to those with local governments hosting its nuclear facilities -- with local governments that are not hosting its nuclear stations. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether Kansai Electric will be able to go through necessary procedures smoothly and restart the Takahama nuclear power station at an early date.
In December last year, Kansai Electric applied for government approval for a plan to raise electricity rates for family users by 10.23 percent on average. Kansai Electric tentatively planned to resume operations at the No. 3 and 4 reactors at the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in November this year, but a senior company official said, "We want to reactivate them in early spring." But the utility is faced with the daunting task of securing the approval of prefectural and local governments in order to put its reactors back online.
In the case of the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant, those local governments that lie within the 30-kilometer radius include not only Fukui Prefecture but also Kyoto and Shiga prefectures. The Kyoto and Shiga prefectural governments demand safety agreements on par with those with local governments hosting the Takahama plant. Therefore, Kansai Electric wants to sign safety pacts with local governments outside the 30-kilometer radius in a bid to clear obstacles to restarting the reactors.
January 07, 2015(Mainichi Japan)