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NRA delays inspections

October 14, 2013


NRA nuclear reactor inspections for restarts delayed



Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) safety inspections on 10 reactors at six power plants -- required for the reactors to restart -- have made little progress as the plant operators have yet to submit necessary documents, NRA officials said.

The NRA has urged the four power companies that operate the 10 reactors to submit the documents and arrange a time to clarify their content during an inspection meeting on Oct. 16.

The NRA has announced how many of the 29 inspection items it has already begun at the 10 reactors. The authority has begun work on the largest number of inspection items at the No. 3 reactor of Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s Tomari plant -- 11 of the 29 items, or 38 percent. Tomari is followed by the No. 3 reactor at Shikoku Electric Power's Ikata plant at 10 items, or 34 percent. The NRA has started to inspect nine items, or 31 percent, at the No. 1 and 2 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power's Sendai plant and eight items, or 28 percent, at the No. 3 and 4 reactors at the firm's Genkai power station.

Although the NRA has begun inspecting the largest number of items at Tomari power plant, the process is in fact delayed further than inspections at the Ikata plant. This is because the authority has instructed Hokkaido Electric to analyze the subsurface structure below the Tomari plant, as it could amplify earthquake vibrations.

The NRA began examination of four and three items (14 and 10 percent), respectively, at the No. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power's Oi plant and the No. 3 and 4 reactors at its Takahama plant, both in Fukui Prefecture.

NRA safety inspections on nuclear reactors are expected to take about half a year. However, a delay in the submission of relevant documents could prolong the examinations. Five utilities have so far applied for safety inspections of 14 reactors at seven nuclear plants.

The authority has put its inspections on the No. 1 and 2 reactors at the Tomari plant on hold.


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