JNRA gave safety approval to restart two reactors of Sendai nuclear plant

JNRA gave its final safety approval to restart two reactors at a nuclear plant of the Kyushu Electric Power Co's Sendai plant.

Sep 11, 2014 14:14 IST
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Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority (JNRA) on 10 September 2014 gave its final safety approval to restart two reactors of Sendai nuclear plant located in south-west Kyushu, Japan. The permission to restart Sendai nuclear plant's two reactors was given after it met new standards that were introduced following the Fukushima disaster in 2011.   

Kyushu Electric Power Co's Sendai plant will be the first nuclear plant to be reopened in Japan that has been lying idle since the Fukushima disaster. After the disaster, all the 48 reactors of Japan were stopped.

The Sendai plant had secured preliminary approval in July 2014 and completed the public consultation period in August 2014. However, Sendai plant is yet to obtain restart approval from the local authorities and will also have to pass on-site operational inspections.

Fukushima nuclear disaster happened in March 2011 after a massive earthquake of 9.0 magnitudes hit off the coast of Tohuku generating a huge tsunami. This led to Japan government under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Naoto Kan declaring that all the nuclear reactors will be stopped and in August 2011 passed a bill to subsidize electricity from renewable energy sources.

As a result, 48 nuclear reactors in Japan were stopped from operating subsequently. Japan's last reactor, at Ohi in western Japan, went offline in September 2013. Japan is currently relying on extra imports of coal and gas to generate power while its nuclear reactors are idle.

Before the Fukushima incident, nuclear plants in Japan supplied about 30% of Japan's power.

However, with the election of Shinzo Abe as PM of Japan, the process towards restarting Japan's nuclear reactors started wherever possible.

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