KAGOSHIMA – Incoming Kagoshima Gov. Satoshi Mitazono says he plans to ask Kyushu Electric Power Co. to suspend operation of the Sendai nuclear power plant for safety checks.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mitazono said he will make the request to the utility at a yet to be decided date to examine the effects of powerful earthquakes that hit nearby Kumamoto and Oita prefectures in April.
The former TV commentator was elected Sunday as governor of the only prefecture in Japan with an operating nuclear power plant.
During campaigning, Mitazono pledged to halt its operation.
“I will require Kyushu Electric to temporarily suspend the operation” for a survey of nearby faults and a review of evacuation plans to ensure safety, he said.
“There are many citizens in this prefecture concerned about the nuclear power plant operating after the quakes in Kumamoto,” he said.
Prefectural governors are not authorized to stop the operation of a nuclear reactor, but utilities require local consent to restart them.
Backed by an anti-nuclear camp, Mitazono defeated incumbent Yuichiro Ito, who allowed two reactors at the Sendai complex to be reactivated last year.