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Operators not serious enough about safety, says NRA

 June 25, 2014

Japan's nuclear regulator criticizes utilities




Japan's nuclear regulators have criticized the country's nuclear plant operators as not serious enough about improving plant safety. They say the operators' applications for safety checks need improvement.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority's safety check is a prerequisite for the government to allow an operator to bring its reactors online. At present, all reactors in Japan remain offline.

Toyoshi Fuketa is a NRA commissioner and an expert on nuclear plant facilities. In a meeting on Wednesday, he sharply criticized the operator of a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Aomori, northern Japan.

Fuketa said the company tried to seek regulators' opinions or reactions without presenting fully prepared documentation when filing its application.

Commissioner Kunihiko Shimazaki is in charge of earthquake and tsunami safety. He said an application that failed to reflect the results from earlier screenings is affecting the efficiency and speed of the latest screening.

Shimazaki is believed to have been referring to the Tokai Number 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki, north of Tokyo.

A similar criticism was voiced last week at the NRA meeting for the screening of the Higashidori nuclear plant in Aomori.

NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said an attitude that simply aims to satisfy screening criteria will not help improve safety. He called on all Japanese operators to submit better applications.

Jun. 25, 2014 - Updated 12:16 UTC

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