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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 November 9 - 15  > Genkai NPP meets safety standards according to regulation authority
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2016 November 9 - 15 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Genkai NPP meets safety standards according to regulation authority

November 10, 2016
The Nuclear Regulation Authority on November 9 approved a draft report which declares that the Nos 3 and 4 reactors at the Kyushu Electric Power Company’s Genkai nuclear power plant meet the NRA’s new safety standards in defiance of public concerns, including those for the safe evacuation of residents living on remote islands.

The number of nuclear reactors which the NRA judged as safe has reached 10. The No.3 reactor is for pulthermal operations using MOX (mixed uranium-plutonium oxide) fuel.

The Genkai NPP is located near the Genkai Sea. Within a 30km-zone of the plant, about 262,800 people reside in eight municipalities in three prefectures (Saga, Fukuoka, and Nagasaki). Of them, about 19,200 residents are living on 17 remote islands. There exits concern that when a nuclear accident occurs in bad weather, they will have no means of being evacuated from their islands.

The draft report assumes that the expected maximum seismic ground motion at the plant is 620 Gal. However, that figure is criticized as being too low. In addition, it is pointed out that the NRA has underestimated the danger of the active faults in areas around the Genkai power station.

Japanese Communist Party member of the plant-hosting Genkai Town Assembly in Saga Prefecture, Fujiura Akira, criticized the NRA for determining that the plant as all right despite the lack of workable evacuation plans.

Fujiura said, “Under the town’s evacuation plan, for example, residents are required to evacuate the town by bus in the event of a nuclear accident. However, there is no guarantee that a sufficient number of buses and drivers will be secured for the evacuation. Although the JCP is demanding the improvement of the plan, the town government is showing reluctance to respond to the demand.”

Hasegawa Akira, who heads the plaintiffs group in a lawsuit seeking to block the restart of the Genkai NPP, said, “Nearly six years have passed and the Fukushima nuclear disaster is far from over. Furthermore, about 90,000 Fukushima victims are still forced to stay away from their hometowns. Under this circumstance, the reactivation of the Genkai NPP is unacceptable.”

Past related articles:
> Hard to evacuate residents living within 30km-zone in nuclear accident [April 1, 2013]
> 1,704 file suit seeking shutdown of Genkai nuclear plant [January 31 & February 1, 2012]
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