With the new nuclear regulations set by Nuclear Regulation Authority, the Tokyo Electric Power Company now plans to resume operating their Niigata-based reactors. But in order to secure affirmation for their application, TEPCO also seeks the approval of the residents where the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant stands. TEPCO officials, including President Naomi Hirose, even paid a visit to the local community in Niigata Prefecture on Wednesday. The officials were trying to assure assembly members that they can meet the new nuclear regulations set by the NRA.
TEPCO has also tried to seek consent from Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida, but to no avail. But he was told to seek consent from the local community. During the TEPCO officials’ visit, the local assembly members were told that the electric company has taken measures that meet the new nuclear standards. In order to protect the reactors from a potential tsunami, a 15-metre high seawall was built surrounding two of its reactors. The sea wall is said to be able to withstand tsunami up to 6 metres.
Besides the attempt to make the power plant tsunami-proof, TEPCO also told the local assembly that earthquake is unlikely to cause a problem. According to TEPCO’s survey on the area, the fault line where the reactors are built is inactive. The survey also revealed that there has been no evidence of fault movement for 200,000 years. But anyone cynical would think that perhaps there could be a fault movement soon, or there was just no trace of evidence.
Although TEPCO tried to secure approval from the people, members of the Kashiwazaki City Assembly were displeased that TEPCO has not consulted the local community first before applying for re-operations. The Fukushima incident was also brought before TEPCO as a reminder. According to the assembly, the cause of the meltdown in Fukushima should be established first before having the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant back online.