Japan’s nuclear regulator has said that two nuclear reactors meet new standards put in place after the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi disaster and can be restarted.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority, in a 418-page report released today, gave Kyushu Electric Company preliminary approval to restart the two pressurised water reactor units at its Sendai station in the southern part of the country.
Kyushu Electric Company confirmed the approval in a statement on its website.
The report, published on the NRA’s website in Japanese only, said the coastal Sendai station met new safety standards designed to protect against everything from terrorist attacks to tsunamis like the one that led to meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi.
The new nuclear safety standards cover three main areas: design basis safety standards, severe accident measures and safety standards for earthquakes and tsunamis.
Operators of nuclear stations in Japan are obligated by law to take concrete steps to mitigate against the possibility of serious accidents. Until now, such action was voluntary.
All of Japan’s 50 commercial reactors are offline while they undergo inspections to make sure they comply with new safety standards.
Before the Sendai units are restarted authorities will hold a month of public consultation and local authorities will also have a say.
Sendai-1 and Sendai-2 are both 846-megawatt PWRs. Sendai-1 began commercial operation in July 1984 and Sendai-2 in November 1985.