Japan's top nuclear regulator says no restart until fault checks, tighter safety standards met
News On Japan via Washington Post -- Oct 12
TOKYO - The head of Japan's new nuclear regulatory agency says reactors will not be allowed to restart until they pass seismic inspections and meet safety standards to be instituted next year.
Under the new requirements, emergency procedures for accidents and terrorist attacks will become compulsory for nuclear plant operators, Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, said. This follows criticism that collusion between the plant operators and authorities left the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant unprepared for last year's crisis. Before the accident, operators were allowed to decide for themselves whether to follow safety guidelines recommended by regulators.
Tanaka has criticized as political the government's decision to restart two reactors in the western town of Ohi in July to avoid a power crunch during the high-demand summer. The reactors are the only ones to resume operations since Japan shut down all of its reactors for safety checks following the Fukushima disaster.
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