Kansai Electric to present timetable for Oi reactors’ safety

Kyodo

Kansai Electric Power Co. President Makoto Yagi is considering presenting a medium- to long-term timetable for the implementation of safety measures for two idled reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant to industry minister Yukio Edano on Monday morning, sources familiar with the move said Sunday.

Edano, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and two other ministers will assess the timetable, submission of which is a prerequisite for resuming the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at the Oi nuclear complex in Fukui Prefecture, to determine if the safety of the reactors will be ensured.

They will also examine projections for electricity supply and demand this summer in the Kansai region centering on Osaka that the utility serves, before determining whether they should seek local cooperation for the reactivation of the two reactors.

In the timetable, Kansai Electric will clarify time limits for achieving 30 safety measures required by the government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency in the wake of the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi complex.

Since last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, the government has required nuclear power plants to undergo two-stage stress tests and made it necessary for reactors idled for scheduled checks to pass first-stage tests before resuming operation.

Only one of Japan’s 54 commercial reactors is currently in operation and it is scheduled to suspend operation on May 5 for routine checks, leaving Japan without an operating reactor if no others resume operation by then.

Among the dozens of reactors idled for routine checks, the Oi reactors are the first that the government is considering allowing to resume operation, given the recent endorsement of first-stage stress test results on them by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and the Nuclear Safety Commission.