Sendai nuclear plant set to restart without off-site emergency center via Asahi Shimbun

The Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture could restart two reactors in autumn without a crucial emergency facility in place to deal with a possible nuclear accident and evacuations of host communities.

The Sendai plant, operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co., is expected to be the first to resume operations among all plants that have applied for safety screenings by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The Cabinet Office in September 2012 instructed all prefectures hosting nuclear power plants to ensure that off-site emergency centers be equipped with ventilation and other systems to prevent radiation contamination and be located between 5 and 30 kilometers from the nuclear plant.

It also mandated host prefectures to designate multiple backup facilities in case the functions of the off-site centers are crippled by a disaster, which is what occurred during the Fukushima nuclear disaster that started in March 2011.

The deadline for completion of the emergency off-site centers is September 2015.

Kagoshima prefectural government officials said construction of the off-site emergency center for the Sendai plant has lagged behind schedule due to delays in discussions with the central government.
The government’s Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations has called for the prompt construction of off-site emergency centers.

But renovations and relocations of the emergency facilities are also behind schedule around Japan.

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