Tokyo Electric Power : World's largest nuke plant gets initial approval to restart

10/04/2017 | 12:05pm

TOKYO, Oct 4 (KUNA) -- Two reactors at the world's biggest nuclear power plant operated by the utility blamed for safety lapses in the 2011 Fukushima radiation crisis received an initial safety approval on Wednesday to resume operations. The approval for the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in central Japan marks Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) first idled reactors to clear new and stricter safety assessments. At its meeting on Wednesday, the NRA unanimously approved a draft certificate at its meeting that the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the plant on the Sea of Japan coast have passed stricter safety standards, the nuclear watchdog said. But TEPCO, an operator of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, still needs to obtain the consent of local communities and the industry minister before the final go-ahead. The facility is the world's largest nuclear power plant with a combined output capacity of 8.2 million kilowatts. The government introduced tough new safety requirements for nuclear power plants in July 2013, which were adopted based on lessons from the Fukushima disaster. Under the new standards, nuclear power plant operators are obliged to take concrete steps to prepare for radiation leaks in case of severe accidents, such as huge tsunami and reactor core meltdowns. The power companies are also required to install an emergency control center to guard against acts of terrorism and natural disasters. Life of nuclear reactors shall be limited to 40 years in principle, with an extension of up to 20 years allowed if safety is confirmed. TEPCO's Fukushima plant, located 230 km north of Tokyo, was crippled in March 2011 by the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that caused explosions, meltdowns and massive leaks of radioactive material as the world's worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. (end) mk.gta

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