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21 August
Wednesday

Asia

Japan nuclear regulator may close some nuclear plants

This will happen if power companies fail to install sufficient counterterrorism

Photo: Kyodo

/NOVOSTIVL/Japan’s nuclear regulator decided Wednesday not to let power companies operate reactors if they fail to install sufficient counterterrorism measures by specified deadlines. This article appeared in the Japan Times.

The decision by the Nuclear Regulation Authority came after three utilities that operate five nuclear plants in western and southwestern Japan requested that their deadlines be extended as they expect delays in completing counterterrorism steps required under stricter regulations introduced in 2013 following the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Nuclear plant operators need to set up such facilities within five years of the nuclear safety watchdog approving detailed construction plans for the plants.

But several firms have warned they will not meet these criteria. The NRA said after a meeting earlier Wednesday it would no longer push back the deadline as it has done in the past.

“There is no need to extend the deadline, and nuclear facilities have to stop operations if the operators fail to meet it,” an NRA official said.

He added that several other reactors were also at risk of being shut down.

A reactor at the Sendai power plant in Kyushu could be the first to be suspended if Kyushu Electric Power fails to finish work by the deadline next March.

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