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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Ohi plant allowed to stay online till September

March 19, 2013


Oi N-plant to continue operations through Sept.



The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Tuesday that the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture are allowed, in principle, to continue operations until the next routine check in September.

Although nuclear plants in Japan are required to meet new safety standards, which will come into effect on July 18, before being restarted, the nuclear regulator gave the approval by showing its intention to start checking whether the reactors fall short of any of the new standards in April, when the outline of the standards is drawn up.

The two reactors at the Oi plant in the prefecture are the only nuclear reactors in operation in Japan.

Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the nuclear regulator, said it may demand the reactors cease operations if serious problems are found.

The government decided to restart the two reactors in June 2012, before the new nuclear regulator was established, and they are therefore legally allowed to continue operations through September, the authority said.

The authority said it will carry out examinations of the two reactors under the new standards at the end of the next routine check.

It proposed starting the safety confirmation process once the new standards' outline becomes clear, because safety requirements are to be raised substantially.

In its implementation plans shown on the day for the new safety standards, the authority demands that nuclear plant operators complete installation of all facilities needed for countermeasures against severe accidents stipulated in the standards.




Ohi nuclear plant will stay online until Sept.



Nuclear regulators say they will allow 2 power reactors in western Japan to continue operation until September. New safety guidelines will be introduced July.

The No. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power's Ohi plant have been the nation's only two reactors online since last August. They cleared the government's earthquake resistance safety test in 2011.

Legally, the utility can operate the reactors until the next regular inspection in September.

Attention is focused on whether the Nuclear Regulation Authority will apply the new safety guidelines to the 2 reactors in July.

At an NRA meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday, Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said after the planned regular inspections are completed the 2 operating reactors will be checked to see whether they meet the new safety requirements.

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