Fukui governor to OK restart of two Kepco Takahama plant reactors but units still subject to injunction


Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa will soon give his consent for the restart of two nuclear reactors in the prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast, sources said Sunday, as the central government seeks to bring more reactors back online after the 2011 start of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The governor will visit the site of reactors 3 and 4 at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama plant on Monday to check safety measures before expressing his consent, they said. The governor’s consent is necessary to restart the reactors.

Earlier in the day, industry minister Motoo Hayashi, in charge of the country’s energy policy, met with Nishikawa at the Fukui prefectural office and sought the governor’s consent for the restart of the two nuclear reactors.

In the talks, Hayashi said the central government will tackle issues such as nuclear accidents and decommissioning “with responsibility.” The minister also said the government plans to hold symposiums and other events across Japan to gain public support for the restart of nuclear reactors.

Nishikawa welcomed such measures by the central government and said he will make a decision that would “win the trust of the residents of the prefecture.”

The restart of the reactors, which have cleared stricter safety regulations introduced in light of the Fukushima crisis, would follow two units at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture that resumed operations this year in the first nuclear power generation under the tighter safety regulations.

However, a court injunction in April has banned Kansai Electric from reactivating the Takahama units over safety concerns. The Fukui District Court will make a decision Thursday on an objection filed by the utility over the injunction.