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TEPCO safety plan for Kashiwazaki Kariwa good enough?

 September 25, 2013




Niigata governor to study TEPCO safety plan



The governor of Niigata Prefecture says he will closely examine a request by Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, to approve installation of more safety devices at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant. The installation is a prerequisite for the plant's restart.

TEPCO President Naomi Hirose visited Niigata on Wednesday. He handed Governor Hirohiko Izumida a document seeking advance approval of a plan to install more filter vent systems at the Number 6 and 7 reactors of the plant in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan.

Such systems are designed to release pressure in containment vessels while limiting massive emissions of radioactive substances from boiling water reactors in emergencies.

Izumida asked Hirose how his utility will notify local residents when using the systems, and how it will minimize people's exposure to radioactive substances.

Hirose said the utility has the necessary safety measures in place. He also pledged efforts to deepen communication with local residents.

TEPCO hopes to restart the two reactors. The plant has seven and is the world's largest nuclear power plant in terms of power output. But the reactors must first be screened under the government's new tough guidelines.

The move to seek prior approval of local communities is based on a safety agreement between the utility and prefectures and municipalities that host nuclear plants.

At their previous meeting in July, Izumida refused to take the document, to protest TEPCO's plan to file for safety screening before obtaining local approval.

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