Nuclear Energy Institute Report on Japan’s Nuclear Reactors, April 9, 2012

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–April 9, 2012.

Japan Government Approves New Safety Standards for Reactor Restarts


  • Kansai Electric Power Co. has submitted to the Japanese ministry of industry its safety action plan to comply with new nuclear safety standards that the government says are necessary for shutdown reactors to restart. First-stage “stress tests” for Kansai’s two Ohi nuclear reactors have already been approved by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and the Nuclear Safety Commission. The tests demonstrate that the reactors would withstand an earthquake and tsunami similar to those that struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility last March. The government’s new standards require nuclear energy facility operators to make plant safety improvements on a prearranged schedule. Kansai Electric agreed to install emergency power generators in multiple locations and, by 2015, install filtered vents and build an earthquake-resistant emergency response center.
  • Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has found the stress test results filed by Shikoku Electric Power Co. for its Ikata reactor 3 to be satisfactory. NISA has forwarded its findings to the Nuclear Safety Commission for review. Stress test results for Hokuriku Electric Power’s Shika reactors 1 and 2 also are under review by NISA, bringing the number of reactors for which stress test results have been filed to 17.
  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has formally abandoned plans to build two new reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. The company also announced it would decommission reactors 1 through 4 and not 5 and 6, which were undamaged after the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. The company has begun posting Fukushima Daiichi-related videos on its YouTube channel.

Media Highlights

  • An article by Reuters describes the efforts by Japanese authorities to restart some nuclear energy facilities before the last operating reactor shuts down for inspection May 5.
  • Bloomberg reports that efforts by Kansai Electric Power Co. to enhance safety equipment for its 11 reactors will cost more than $2.5 billion and take up to four years. The company submitted the plans to the government as a precondition for restarting two reactors at the Ohi site in western Japan.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Industry representatives and NRC staff will meet April 10 to discuss response schedules and guidance for the NRC’s orders and requests for information on post-Fukushima safety enhancements. Members of the public can participate via teleconference.


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