20 Juin 2013
June 18, 2013
Nuclear plants to seek restart under new guideline
Six nuclear power plants will apply for restart under new safety guidelines to be adopted by the country's nuclear regulators on Wednesday.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority is expected to implement a new set of rules that oblige power companies to put in place measures to deal with serious accidents. Until now, such measures had been deemed voluntary.
Utilities will also be asked to draw up safety scenarios for bigger earthquakes and higher tsunami.
NHK has learned through interviews with 10 Japanese power companies that 6 nuclear plants are preparing to apply for resumption of operation as soon as the new guidelines go into effect on July 8th.
The plants are Tomari in Hokkaido, Ohi and Takahama in Fukui Prefecture, Ikata in Ehime Prefecture, Genkai in Saga Prefecture and Sendai in Kagoshima Prefecture.
All 6 have pressurized water reactors, a relatively new type of reactor. The stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant uses older boiling water reactors.
The nuclear regulatory body has said screening of applications will take about 6 months. Reactor restarts would also require a go-ahead from local communities.
Jun. 18, 2013 - Updated 07:43 UTC