6 Septembre 2017
September 6, 2017
Nuclear regulator prepares to OK TEPCO reactors
Japan's nuclear regulators will decide next week whether to certify the safety of reactors at a nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture. This would bring the plant, run by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, one step closer to restarting the reactors.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority has been interviewing TEPCO managers about safety measures for the No.6 and No.7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.
One of the regulators at a meeting on Wednesday agreed with TEPCO that putting the plant back into regular operation is a way of taking responsibility for the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima.
Another asserted that the Fukushima accident had helped improve TEPCO's safety awareness.
But other members of the regulating authority were skeptical. One asked whether TEPCO's promise alone was sufficient for deciding that the plant is ready to restart.
The regulators meet again next Wednesday to decide whether to draft documents that would effectively certify that the reactors have cleared safety screening procedures.
They would be the first of TEPCO's reactors to get the go-ahead for a restart since the Fukushima meltdown. They would also be the first boiling water reactors -- the same as those in the crippled Fukushima plant -- to pass screening.
Niigata Governor Ryuichi Yoneyama has indicated he will not permit a restart of the reactors until the investigation into the Fukushima accident is completed.