4 Juillet 2013
03.07.2013_No167 / News in Brief
3 July (NucNet): Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has announced that it will apply for the restart of units 6 and 7 at the seven-unit Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant “as soon as possible”.
Japan’s nuclear regulator announced new safety guidelines last month that will have to be met before any reactors can be restarted. The guidelines come into effect on 8 July and applications for restarts will begin to be accepted on the same day.
In a statement, Tepco said it has been implementing new safety measures based on the lessons learned from the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant.
Tepco will also consult on the restart of the units with Niigata prefecture, where the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant is located, some 220 kilometres northeast of Tokyo.
Tepco said it wants to continue communication with Niigata prefecture and local districts to ensure that the population develops a nuclear safety culture and understands the enhancement measures being carried out for nuclear plants.
Units 6 and 7 at the plant are both 1,315-megawatt boiling water reactors. Unit 6 began commercial operation in November 1996 and Unit 7 in July 1997.
In May 2012, Tepco announced that it would return to profit in 2013 if it was allowed to bring the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant back online. It suffered a 685.3 billion yen (6.9 billion US dollars, 5.3 billion euros) loss in 2012.
In March 2013, Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe said nuclear reactors will be restarted only if it is proven safe to do so.
Japan has 50 commercial nuclear reactors, only two of which, Ohi-3 and Ohi-4, have been restarted since the Fukushima-Daiichi accident.
In July 2007, Kashiwazaki Kariwa was struck by an earthquake that led to the automatic, safe shutdown of units 3, 4 and 7. Units 1, 5 and 6 were already shut down at the time of the earthquake for periodic inspections.