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Japan’s nuclear regular demands safety steps, or reactors must close down

Japan to shut down nuclear plants if counterterror steps not taken in time, Japan Times, KYODO, AFP-JIJI, REUTERS, APR 24, 2019

Japan’s nuclear regulator decided Wednesday not to let power companies operate reactors if they fail to install sufficient counterterrorism measures by specified deadlines.

The decision by the Nuclear Regulation Authority came after three utilities that operate five nuclear plants in western and southwestern Japan requested that their deadlines be extended as they expect delays in completing counterterrorism steps required under stricter regulations introduced in 2013 following the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Kyushu Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co. and Shikoku Electric Power Co. had sought to postpone their five-year deadlines by one to three years, citing reasons such as the need to carry out massive construction work.

The three companies told the NRA that the measures would not be on time at 10 of their reactors, according to documents published on the regulator’s website.

But the regulator has declined their requests for extensions.

The power plant operators are required to build facilities that can keep reactors cool via remote control and prevent the massive release of radioactive materials if the units are the target of a terrorist attack, such as from planes being flown into them.

Nuclear plant operators need to set up such facilities within five years of the nuclear safety watchdog approving detailed construction plans for the plants.

But several firms have warned they will not meet these criteria. The NRA said after a meeting earlier Wednesday it would no longer push back the deadline as it has done in the past.

“There is no need to extend the deadline, and nuclear facilities have to stop operations if the operators fail to meet it,” an NRA official said.

He added that several other reactors were also at risk of being shut down………  https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/04/24/business/corporate-business/japan-halt-nuclear-plants-operations-anti-terrorism-steps-not-taken-time/#.XMDXGDAzbGg

April 25, 2019 - Posted by | Japan, safety

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