27 Novembre 2017
November 27, 2017
Fukui governor agrees to restart of 2 reactors
The governor of Fukui Prefecture in central Japan has given the nod to bringing 2 reactors at a local nuclear power plant back online.
Governor Issei Nishikawa announced his decision on the Ohi plant at a news conference on Monday.
The plant's operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, says it hopes to restart the No.3 reactor in mid-January and the No.4 reactor in mid-March.
The 2 reactors on the Sea of Japan have already cleared screening by Japan's nuclear regulator.
The host town of Ohi and the Fukui prefectural assembly have already given their consent.
Nishikawa said he agreed to the restart after thorough consideration, based on the views of the town and the assembly.
As a reason for his decision, he said a prefectural expert's panel has confirmed the engineering safety of the plant.
He also cited the operator's plan to choose candidate sites for the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel within next year. He added that the central government has pledged to be actively involved in the process.
Fukui has demanded that such facilities be built outside the prefecture.
Nishikawa's nod comes as a trial continues at a high court on a request by local residents not to restart the reactors. A lower court in 2014 ordered Kansai Electric not to restart them, citing insufficient safety measures.
Five reactors at 3 nuclear power plants have been brought back online in Japan under new government regulations introduced after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Including the Ohi plant, 9 reactors at 5 plants have gained consent for restart by their local host governments.
Fukui gives OK to restart of Kansai Electric’s Oi nuclear plant
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
FUKUI--Kansai Electric Power Co. has cleared all hurdles toward restarting two reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant early next year after gaining the consent of the prefectural governor here Nov. 27.
The utility plans to resume operations of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors in January and March, respectively.
“I have agreed to the restart after taking into account the position of the Oi town government and Fukui prefectural assembly, as well as the response by the central government and the operator of the plant concerning our request to have an interim storage site for spent nuclear fuel to be built outside the prefecture,” Governor Issei Nishikawa told reporters here the same day.
Nishikawa signed off on Kansai Electric's request following similar moves by the town government of Oi, which hosts the Oi nuclear plant, the town assembly and the prefectural assembly.
In response to the governor’s request concerning the storage site, Shigeki Iwane, president of Kansai Electric, has already pledged to offer a proposed alternative site next year.
Industry minister Hiroshige Seko, too, vowed that the central government will be involved in drawing up the plan.
Nishikawa pushed for the construction of the interim storage facility outside the prefecture as a condition to agreeing to the restart of the Oi plant.
Five reactors are now operating in Japan after clearing new nuclear regulations established in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Two of the reactors are at Kansai Electric’s Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture.
The Fukui District Court, citing safety concerns, ordered a halt to the operations of Oi’s No. 3 and No. 4 reactors in May 2014.
But Kansai Electric appealed the decision and has since been gearing up to restart the units.