Japan: Nuclear Reactor Taken Offline After Failing To Meet Safety Requirements

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A nuclear power plant in Japan shut down one of its reactors on March 16, The reactor was forced to shut down after it failed to meet the deadline.

Written By Shubham Bose | Mumbai | Updated On:
Nuclear reactor taken offline after failing to meet safety requirement

A nuclear power plant in Japan shut down one of its reactors on March 16. The reactor was forced to shut down after it failed to meet the deadline for adding an anti-terror safety facility. This provision was made mandatory after the Fukushima disaster. This is the first example of a reactor having to shut down due to its failure to meet new regulations.

Forced to shut down

According to reports, Kyushu Electric Power Company shut its number 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear power station in the Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan. The company began its regular inspection on March 16. As per reports, the power plant will have to shut down another reactor at the Sendai plant in May for failing to meet the requirement.

Kyushu Electric is not the only nuclear plant that is facing problems. Kansai Electric Power Company is expected to have shut down two of its reactors at its Takahama plant in western Japan. The anti-terror safety regulation came into being in 2013 after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. The Fukushima meltdown exposed a severe lack of safety culture and transparency among nuclear operators and lax oversight by nuclear regulators. This prompted a major overhaul and reforms in the nuclear energy sector.

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The post-Fukushima regulations require the operators to build facilities for emergencies. These include Terror attacks and aircraft crashes within five years of approval of the construction plans by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. According to reports, Kyushu Electric plans on completing all the pending safety measure and restart the closed reactor by the end of 2020. Kansai Electric, on the other hand, has also come under fire for its compliance problems.

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As per reports, Takashi Morimoto, the new president of Kansai Electric, Japan's second-largest power company, was reprimanded by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. He was ordered to make certain organizational changes as well as improve governance and report to the ministry by June.  Morimoto replaced the prior president, Shigeki Iwane, who resigned on March 14.

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