Safety checks for Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant to be prolonged

JIJI

Safety screenings for the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant are set to be prolonged further, it was learned Wednesday.

It is nearly two years and six months since Tepco applied for safety checks for the reactors in Niigata Prefecture. Under new regulations put in place after the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, a reactor must pass screenings by the Nuclear Regulation Authority before going back online.

The NRA’s secretariat reported at a regular NRA meeting on Wednesday that Tepco is not yet ready to undergo an examination of the company’s new method for assessing the degree of quake-resistance at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors.

Preparations for the examination, including completing documents, can take as long as six months, sources familiar with the matter said.

The reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant are boiling water reactors, the same type as those at Tepco’s disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The secretariat also said documents are largely ready for screening items other than those relating to quake-resistance and that these could serve as models for other boiling water reactors.

The NRA unveiled a plan to resume safety checks for the No. 2 reactor at Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s Shimane nuclear plant in Shimane Prefecture and the No. 2 reactor at Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Onagawa plant in Miyagi Prefecture. Both are boiling water reactors.