21 Juin 2014
June 20, 2014
Residents briefed on Shimane plant safety measures
Residents near the Shimane nuclear power plant in western Japan have been briefed on the ongoing government safety check at the plant's No. 2 reactor and on safety measures. The safety screening is a prerequisite for restarting reactors.
The briefing was held on Thursday in the city of Yonago in Tottori Prefecture. The city is within 30 kilometers of the plant in neighboring Shimane Prefecture. Officials of Chugoku Electric Power Company, the plant operator, spoke to about 60 locals.
The officials explained the new safety measures, including the installation of a filtered ventilation system. The system is designed to reduce pressure in the reactor containment vessel while limiting emissions of radioactive materials in an emergency.
The officials also said they are conducting a survey of faults around the plant.
One resident asked for measures against possible hydrogen explosions at the plant, drawing lessons from the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Another called for the use of renewable energy instead of nuclear power.
The president of a local residents' association said he felt anxious as Chugoku Electric Power apparently expressed the intention to restart the reactor in its first briefing to residents. He said his community will demand further briefings once the reactor is to go back online.
The Tottori Prefectural Government had requested the meeting after the utility applied in December for a government screening with an eye to restarting the No. 2 reactor.
Similar meetings are scheduled in 16 areas in Yonago and another city in the prefecture near the plant by mid-August.
Chugoku Electric Power supplies energy to consumers mainly in five prefectures including Shimane and Tottori.
Jun. 20, 2014 - Updated 02:05 UTC