TOKYO (Kyodo) – Nuclear regulators on Thursday decided to prioritize the safety review of two reactors at the Sendai plant in southwestern Japan, making them potentially the closest to be allowed to restart among Japan’s 48 offline commercial reactors.
Currently, a total of 17 reactors at 10 nuclear power plants are waiting for inspections to determine whether they satisfy a set of new safety requirements introduced in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.
But the Nuclear Regulation Authority has decided to prioritize a small number of nuclear power plants from among them for its first safety checkup process based on the new regulations.
During the NRA’s decision-making meeting Thursday, commissioners agreed that the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at the Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture are qualified to move on to the final stage of the review process.
Kyushu Electric Power Co. wants to secure local consent to restart the reactors by summer, when electricity demand increases.
The two reactors at the Sendai plant are both pressurized water reactors, a type different from the ones at the Fukushima plant that suffered meltdowns. Each reactor has a capacity of 890,000 kilowatts.
The two were operating when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit eastern Japan in March 2011, triggering the Fukushima crisis, but they have shut down for mandatory regular checkups by September the same year.
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