A committee from the Nuclear Regulation Authority has reached the conclusion that there are no active faults under the Oi nuclear station in Fukui Prefecture, paving the way for a restart of the two reactors once they’ve finished their maintenance and safety checks. The reactors were the only two out of the 50 reactors that remained active after Japan shut down the rest over safety concerns after the Fukushima incident in 2011.
The team led by NRA commissioner Kunihiko Shimazaki said that they reached the effective consensus that the “F-6 crush zone” fault under the plant is inactive, after conducting inspections from November 2012 to July this year. This means Kansai Electric, the plant’s operator, will be able to restart the units if they pass the safety checks under the new NRA regulations that were created after the 2011 meltdown. The two reactors, which produce 1,180 megawatts of power, will be undergoing maintenance and will go offline this month, meaning Japan will be without nuclear power for the second time since the 1970s. The No. 3 reactor was shut down early Tuesday while The No 4 reactor will go offline on September 15.
The NRA has said it will be taking a tougher stance on the nuclear plants that are located near or over possible faults and if there is even the slightest risk of it becoming active, they will not allow the plants to restart. NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said that there should absolutely be no risk or else the reactor should not be operated. They have not given an estimate as to when the reactors can be restarted or how long the maintenance period will last.
[ via Jiji Press ]