Chubu Electric applies to restart risk-laden Hamaoka nuclear plant


Chubu Electric Power Co. on Friday applied for a safety assessment for one of the three reactors at its Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture despite the tsunami risk that forced its shutdown in 2011 at the request of Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

The move bumped up the number of safety assessment applications received by the Nuclear Regulation Authority to 17.

The NRA is expected to use the same procedure as it does on reactors elsewhere despite the unusual request by Kan, which was sparked by fears over the plant’s ability to withstand tsunami.

The Hamaoka complex is located in the city of Omaezaki on the Pacific coast, in an area that is assumed ripe for a massive earthquake. Two of the five reactors at the plant were retired in 2009.

Chubu Electric has been installing huge seawalls and taking other measures to protect the plant. The measures are expected to be completed by September 2015.

Under the new nuclear watchdog, all of the nation’s 48 commercial reactors must pass new safety assessments before they can be restarted.

The NRA has yet to finish any of the safety checks.

  • Andrew Sheldon

    It sounds like they are finally taking the right course of action. If only they thought conceptually in the first place, we could have avoided a great deal of hassle. Knowledge is not always self-evident. Sometimes you have to dig a lot. The modern world is too complicated for simple people. That’s why voters should not be sanctioning decisions pertinent to nuclear power – nor their ‘representatives’.

  • Starviking

    I fail to see why the paper uses “despite the threat from tsunamis”, as Chubu Electric have built a massive seawall to protect the site from tsunamis. Trying to hype up fears again?