Tomari reactor checks suspended

JIJI

The Nuclear Regulation Authority will suspend safety checks for two nuclear reactors run by Hokkaido Electric Power Co. because the utility’s applications were far from adequate.

Hokkaido Electric is “clearly unprepared” for checks to be carried out on reactors 1 and 2 at its Tomari nuclear power station in Hokkaido, NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa said Tuesday.

The checks will go ahead when the firm submits additional materials, the NRA said.

An official from Hokkaido Electric said the decision is unfortunate, adding that the utility will file revised applications for the reactors as soon as possible.

The NRA said Hokkaido Electric submitted analysis results showing how the reactor cooling water systems would cope in a severe nuclear catastrophe based on data from another type of cooling system.

It also said the power company failed to adequately explain whether the two reactors meet new safety standards. It told the company to withdraw its applications or file revised ones.

The NRA plans to continue screening the Tomari reactor 3. But Fuketa said the authority sees a lack of preparation.

Hokkaido Electric is one of four companies that applied for NRA checks on July 8, when new nuclear safety standards came into effect.

As for safety check applications for other reactors, the NRA said it will not screen those for reactors 3 and 4 at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture until the authority knows the results of the ongoing fault research there. It will not take up reactors 3 and 4 at Kepco’s Takahama plant in the same prefecture at the next screening session due to the operator’s poor understanding of the underground structure of the plant site.