5 Oct (NucNet): Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has approved final reports which conclude that the Kashiwazaki Kariwa-6 and -7 nuclear plants in Niigata Prefecture, western Japan, meet revised safety standards introduced after the March 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident. The NRA approved the reports at a scheduled meeting on 4 October 2017, industry group the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) said. The units will be the first Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) plants to be approved, Jaif said. Jaif said the Kashiwazaki Kariwa units will also be the first boiling-water reactors – the same type as those at Fukushima Daiichi – to meet the new standards. Tepco owns and operates Fukushima-Daiichi. Jaif said permission to restart the reactors will probably be given officially early next year, following public reviews and a verdict from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Tepco’s eligibility to operate the units. The agreement of Niigata Prefecture is another matter, Jaif told NucNet. “The position of the governor, Ryuichi Yoneyama, is that the cause of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident has not been verified, and that it will take three or four years before it can be verified. It could therefore be several years before Tepco can restart the units.” Kashiwazaki Kariwa-6 and -7 are both 1,315-MW BWRs. They began commercial operation in 1996 and 1997 respectively, but like all reactors in Japan were shut down following Fukushima-Daiichi.