The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday approved a draft report finding that the No. 2 reactor at Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s Shimane nuclear power station in the western city of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, meets the country’s new regulatory standards.
The Shimane No. 2 unit is the fifth boiling water reactor, or BWR, in the country to clear regulatory screenings for restarting idled reactors. Reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are also of the BWR type.
The assessment on the Shimane reactor will be officially adopted after a public comment period and other procedures.
Chugoku Electric plans to finish seismic strengthening and other works for the Shimane reactor by the end of fiscal 2021, but it remains uncertain when it can gain the approval of local communities for restarting the reactor.
The Shimane plant is the only nuclear plant located in a prefectural capital in the country. There are about 460,000 residents in areas within 30 kilometers from the plant.
In December 2013, Chugoku Electric applied for the reactor to be examined under the regulatory standards.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority spent seven and a half years screening the Shimane reactor, focusing on the company’s earthquake and tsunami estimates for the reactor. Following the NRA’s instructions, the company has revised the estimates.
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