OSAKA (Kyodo) — Kansai Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it will suspend operations at two nuclear reactors after missing the industry regulator’s deadline to build counterterrorism facilities.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority had told Kansai Electric it must suspend operations if the facilities — to be at least 100 meters away from the reactors and finished within five years of the start of construction — were not ready around a week before the respective deadlines of August 3 and October 8.
The NRA last April said it would not allow power companies to operate reactors if they failed to put in place sufficient antiterrorism measures by its deadlines.
Its requirements include an emergency control room, standby power supply, and reactor coolant pump to maintain cooling procedures via remote control and prevent the release of radioactive materials.
Kansai Electric, meanwhile, has removed eight rods of a rare type of spent fuel made of plutonium-uranium mixed oxide from the No. 3 reactor in Takahama after launching the work Monday. It is the second such case in Japan after one conducted at the Ikata nuclear plant in the western Japan prefecture of Ehime earlier this month.
The utility said it will store the spent MOX fuel rods temporarily in a cooling pool at the plant, as Japan has no reprocessing facilities for them despite government and power companies’ plans to reuse plutonium extracted by reprocessing the spent fuel.