1 Janvier 2014
January 1, 2013
Nuclear plants unlikely to resume operations soon
Officials with the Nuclear Regulation Authority in Japan say no nuclear plants are likely to resume operations in the near future.
They set new safety standards last July following the 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi. The guidelines call on operators to prepare for severe accidents and to reinforce facilities to make them earthquake-resistant.
Seven utilities have applied for safety screenings for 9 plants so they can restart operations.
The regulators have held 65 meetings to examine those applications. They say none of the plants is ready to go back online because operators have not appropriately renewed their estimations of the scale of possible earthquakes.
Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka says he has no clear idea how long the screening process will take.
All commercial reactors in Japan are currently offline. Utilities want to restart them as soon as possible because the cost of importing fuel for thermal power generation is straining their bottom lines.
If and when regulators give them the green light, the firms still need consent from local governments before they can fire up their nuclear plants.