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Ohma plant can be completed

September 28, 2012



J-Power to finish building Ohma nuclear plant



A Japanese power company is likely to resume construction of a nuclear plant in northern Japan by the year-end.

Electric Power Development Company, also known as J-Power, started building the plant in Ohma Town, Aomori Prefecture, in 2008 with the goal of starting operation in November 2014. But the work was suspended after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March last year.

J-Power decided to resume construction after the government compiled its new energy policy on September 14th. The new strategy allows work to continue on plants already under construction, while trying to end Japan's reliance on nuclear power by the 2030s.

Industry minister Yukio Edano visited Aomori Prefecture on September 15th. He told Governor Shingo Mimura that the Ohma plant could be completed.

J-Power plans to inform local municipalities of the decision next week.

The Ohma plant must pass a new safety standard to be drawn up by the Nuclear Regulation Authority before it can begin operation. The regulatory body was launched on September 19th.

NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka says the company is better off resuming construction after undergoing screening based on the new standard. But he said it's the firm's decision to make, and he won't be asking it to wait.

Two other nuclear plants were already under construction before the March 11 disaster -- one in Aomori and another in Shimane, western Japan.

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