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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 October 4 - 10  > NRA okays restart of controversial Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear reactors
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2017 October 4 - 10 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

NRA okays restart of controversial Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear reactors

October 5, 2017
The Nuclear Regulation Authority on October 4 concluded that Nos. 6 and 7 reactors at TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (Niigata Pref.) meet the new safety standards.

Local researchers and civil groups point out that the NPP in question stands on soft ground and that active faults possibly run under the plant premises.

To resume operations of the two reactors, TEPCO needs to win a local consensus. However, Niigata Governor Yoneyama Ryuichi says that the prefecture will not even discuss the NPP reactivation before its own investigation, which could take up to four years, finishes verifying the cause of the 2011 meltdown accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP (Fukushima Pref.).

The “pass”-stamped reactors are a boiling-water model, the same type as the Fukushima Daiichi’s crippled reactors. Problems associated with the accident six years ago are still far from over: the failed reactors’ radioactivity has yet to be brought under control; the issue of compensation to victims still remains unresolved; and there is no sign of starting the decommissioning work.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at the JCP head office on the same day, commenting on the NRA’s restart approval, said to reporters, “TEPCO is the electricity giant that experienced the nuclear meltdown accident and has yet to determine the cause and the extent of the disaster, bring the radioactivity leaks under control, or fully decontaminate the area. Despite this, the utility terminated compensation for damages. It instead decided to chase profits and applied to the NRA for an approval assessment of the two offline reactors.”

Shii also said, “Although TEPCO was fully aware of the inadequate amount of quake resistance at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP, it intentionally concealed that fact. It is irresponsible of the NRA to ignore the problems regarding the utility and approve the restart.” He expressed his determination to work together with Niigata Governor Yoneyama in regard to the restart of the NPP.

Past related articles:
> TEPCO is unqualified to run NPPs [ September 9, 2017]
> Niigata governor criticizes TEPCO for lying about data needed to reactivate Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP [ February 17, 2017]
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