NRA to name reactors sailing through review

Kyodo

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Wednesday it will judge in the next two or three weeks whether any reactor undergoing a safety review could enter the final stage of the process toward resuming operations.

After narrowing down the list of reactors that appear free of major problems, the NRA said it will intensively work to accelerate the review process of the candidates.

With all of the country’s nuclear power plants currently offline, attention is focused on which reactor will be the first to be reactivated after satisfying safety requirements introduced after the 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex disaster started.

According to procedures agreed upon during a meeting Wednesday, the NRA plans to specify which reactor or reactors have cleared the main agendas related to countermeasures against earthquake and tsunami hazards and have no other serious problems.

The NRA will then start crafting a “draft screening report” that summarizes its assessment on whether each reactor’s basic design complies with the new regulations.

“At this moment, I want to confirm in about two or three weeks’ time” whether any reactor can move on to the stage of compiling the draft screening report, NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said during the meeting.

In what would be the first attempt to create the draft document, Tanaka also said he wants the staffers involved in the review process to “make concerted efforts” so that the process will serve as a role model for other cases to follow.

After compiling the draft, the NRA plans to solicit public opinion from scientific and technical viewpoints over a period of about four weeks. At the request of local governments, it will also create an opportunity for the views of people living near nuclear plants to be heard.