Nishikawa OKs restart of two Kepco nuke reactors

Kansai Electric Power Co. said Friday it will reactivate two nuclear power reactors this weekend after receiving a green light from Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa.

The reactors had been shut down following a nonradioactive accident at another reactor that killed five workers at the Mihama atomic plant in Fukui Prefecture last month.

Kepco President Yosaku Fuji announced that the utility plans to resume operations, now that pipe checks have been completed, during a meeting with Kazuo Matsunaga, director general of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, company officials said.

The agency operates under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Matsunaga noted that the safety of piping at the two reactors — the No. 4 reactor at the Oi nuclear power plant and the No. 2 reactor at the Takahama nuclear power plant, both in Fukui Prefecture — has been confirmed, they said.

Fuji was given final approval to restart the reactors in the afternoon by Gov. Nishikawa.

Kepco was to begin preparing the reactors in the evening, and they will begin operating Sunday.

“With the resumption of operations, I want you to make all efforts to ensure their safe operation and not neglect even the smallest thing,” Nishikawa told Fuji.

Kepco officials also said the utility will suspend operations at three other reactors for piping checks. The three are the No. 2 Oi reactor, the No. 1 Takahama reactor and the No. 1 reactor at the Mihama plant.