Sources from within Japan’s nuclear power industry have that one of the reactors at the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture is widely seen as the next to be restarted in the country. While no formal decision has been made yet, the Ikata plant, operated by Shikoku Electric Power Co., is seen as having advanced safety measures in comparison to other aging nuclear plants in Japan.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is already at work evaluating the safety of existing reactors and developing a new set of safety guidelines required to be met before any restarts are approved. These requirements are expected to be announced in July. Should Ikata, or any other nuclear plant in Japan, be allowed to restart, it will be the first under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office in December, and only the second restart since the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.
Following the tsunami-triggered meltdown, all 50 of Japan’s reactors were taken offline for inspections and upgrades, with only two being allowed to restart last summer, at the Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture. Already included in the drafts of the NRA’s safety standards are for utility companies to be required to construct earthquake-proof buildings at their nuclear plants that could serve as emergency headquarters in the event of another disaster.[via Jiji Press]