Japan reopens application procedures to restart nuclear reactors

Japan reopens application procedures to restart nuclear reactors

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The Asian country of Japan has reopened procedures to allow idled reactors to be brought back online. With this, new nuclear regulations will be placed that reflect the lessons that are learned from the 2011 Fukushima No.1 meltdown disaster. Meanwhile, power utilities are expected to file applications with the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for safety assessments on a total of 10 reactors.

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However, none of the reactors will be restarted any time soon, as each safety screening will take about six months to finish. The NRA called this issue the world’s toughest level of nuclear regulations and there is also a chance that the utilities might give up their efforts to restart some of the country’s 50 commercial reactors.

They might discard the plan, instead of investing in safety measures which are very expensive. On Monday, July 8, 2013, four regional utilities have filed applications to restart five nuclear plants in Hokkaido, Fukui, Ehime and Kagoshima prefectures. Moreover, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. has also expressed its intention to request an NRA safety review for two reactors at the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex in Niigata Prefecture.

However, the opposition of locals has made it difficult for the utility to apply on Monday, July 8, 2013.