Japan Regulator Plans To Speed Up Reactor Restarts

By David Dalton
19 February 2014

19 Feb (NucNet): Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is working to speed up the restart of some of the nation’s offline nuclear reactors, officials said today.

The NRA, an independent body created in 2012 in response to the March 2011 accident at Fukushima-Daiichi, said it would create “a priority list” of nuclear power stations which meet the earthquake and tsunami criteria as soon as next month, which will help move some nuclear facilities forward in the restart process.

Regulatory officials will compile reports on a handful of prioritised plants, which will then be handed off for public comment for an additional four weeks, a statement said. The NRA will also hold town hall meetings in local communities where plants are based to field any scientific and technical questions.

Japan has 50 commercial nuclear reactors, but only two, Kansai Electric Power Company’s Ohi-3 and Ohi-4, have been restarted since the Fukushima-Daiichi accident. They have since been taken offline for scheduled refuelling and maintenance

The NRA is in the process of reviewing reactors to confirm that they meet new nuclear safety standards, which came into force on 8 July 2013.

Figures released by the NRA in December 2013 showed that applications have been submitted for the restart of 16 nuclear power reactors in Japan.

According to those statistics, the NRA has received applications for the restart of the following reactor units: Tomari-1, -2 and –3; Onagawa-2; Kashiwazaki Kariwa-6 and -7; Takahama-3 and -4; Ohi-3 and -4; Shimane-2; Ikata-3; Genkai-3 and -4; and Sendai-1 and -2.

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