13 Novembre 2013
November 13, 2013
Niigata Governor calls for more explanation
The Governor of Niigata wants officials at the Nuclear Regulation Authority to provide a more detailed explanation of their decision to start safety checks on reactors in the prefecture.
Governor Hirohiko Izumida noted that the NRA decided to proceed, even though radioactive water continues to leak at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Izumida said that even if the checks show that the reactors in Kashiwazaki-Kariwa meet current safety standards, there is no guarantee that they will be safely operated.
Izumida said it is irresponsible for the NRA to say it will leave the final decision about restarting the reactors in the hands of government officials.
He said the NRA should also examine ways to ensure that residents living near the reactors will be safe in the event of an accident.
Japan's nuclear body to start safety checks
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has decided to start safety checks at one of Tokyo Electric Power Company's idle nuclear plants.
The utility asked the NRA in September to conduct checks of the Number 6 and 7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture. The reactors must pass safety checks before TEPCO can restart them.
But NRA officials said they wanted to see first how TEPCO would deal with leaks of radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Regulators held off on calling a public meeting to discuss TEPCO's request for the safety checks.
At a meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, some participants said it's unfair for the NRA not to convene a meeting to discuss TEPCO's application.
Other people said they appreciate the utility's latest plan to secure enough workers and improve working conditions at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
After participants decided to proceed with safety checks at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, the head of the regulators, Shunichi Tanaka, said that the NRA should continue to prioritize the issue of radioactive water leaks at the Fukushima plant.
Tanaka also instructed staff at the Nuclear Regulation Agency to consider the specific procedures for conducting the checks at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.