10 Janvier 2013
January 10, 2013
It will be difficult to finish safety assessments on all of the nation's viable commercial reactors in three years, as sought by the new government led by the Liberal Democratic Party, the head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority said Wednesday.
Nuclear power plant operators are expected to apply to restart their idled reactors once the NRA, which was launched after the 2011 start of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant triple-meltdown crisis, compiles new safety standards by July.
NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said he does not believe all utilities with idled reactors will simultaneously apply to restart their combined 48 now-halted reactors at once, or in rapid succession, noting it will take time for some power plant operators to carry out the necessary antidisaster construction work to clear the safety standards.
"I don't think it will be possible to (restart all of the reactors) in three years, although we will act as swiftly as we can," Tanaka told reporters.
Only two reactors are currently online in Japan amid concerns over the safety of nuclear power, both at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s plant in Oi, Fukui Prefecture. The new LDP government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, launched after the general election in December, is expected to support the reactivation of reactors once they are deemed safe by the NRA.
Abe has said the new government's basic stance on energy issues is to finish deciding in three years which reactors can resume operations and to determine the country's future energy mix within 10 years.
Nuclear regulator says checking all reactors in 3 yrs difficult