The Sendai nuclear plant is now being touted as one of the first ones to undergo priority screening and, if it passes, will be the first to be restarted after the March 2011 disaster at Fukushima that saw all of Japan’s nuclear reactors go offline. The plant, operated by the Kyushu Electric Power, will undergo a complete tsunami and earthquake review by the Nuclear Regulation Authority by Wednesday.
NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka and the agency’s four commissioners, in their regular meeting on Thursday, will discuss the plant’s priority screening which is the last stage of the new rules implemented by the regulating body. The Sendai plant has made significant progress on one aspect of the new rules that is considered most significant, and that is evaluating the maximum expected force of an earthquake that might strike. Kyushu Electric gave an estimated ground peak acceleration at a maximum of 620 galileos (intensity of ground movement), an important benchmark when figuring out the plant’s resistance to earthquakes. There is also little opposition to the restart of the Sendai plant, unlike other nuclear plants that have applied for a restart.
Other nuclear plants that are in the final stages of screening are Shikoku Electric Power’s Ikata No. 3 and Kyushu Electric’s Genkai No. 3 and No. 4 reactors. Even though they were one of the first who applied for screening, Kansai Electric Power’s Takahama No. 3 and Oi No. 3 and No. 4 reactors will have a longer time in the earthquake screenings due to some issues with active faults under the nuclear plants. Even if things go smoothly in the reviews of these plants, the restarts might not be in time for the start of the summer energy-saving period in July. Both Kyushu Electric and Kansai Electric had relied on nuclear energy during this period before, but making do without them will affect their overall energy supply.
[ via Nikkei ]