Japan will shut down both of its two working nuclear reactors this month in response to continued public hostility toward nuclear power.
The No.3 reactor at Kansai Electric Power’s Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture will be fully shut down by early Tuesday in preparation for legally mandated inspections, according to a company spokesman. The other working reactor, No. 4 at Oi, will be cut off on September 15.
This will only be the second time that all 50 of Japan’s nuclear reactors will be offline since the March 11, 2011 disaster.
They will be assessed in accordance with a new set of guidelines drawn up by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, according to Kansai Electric. The nuclear watchdog has said all reactors must pass stringent safety inspection tests before being allowed to restart.
These two reactors were restarted in July of 2012, in spite of public opposition, after passing safety tests, which ended a brief period of no atomic power being generated in Japan.
They were the only two reactors to be restarted after the March 2011 disaster at Fukushima
In order to fill the gap left by the shutdown of its nuclear plants, Japan has turned to expensive fossil-fuel alternatives. Nuclear power supplied about one-third of Japan’s electricity before the Fukushima disaster.
There is now a lengthy process in place in order to get nuclear reactors up and running again, including power companies submitting applications for safety assessments and then getting approval from national and regional politicians.
The process may take many months, but is likely to result in nuclear power resumption in Japan.
The new safety standards are aimed at getting utilities to prepare measures against severe accidents and terrorist attacks, and to better protect plants from earthquakes and tsunamis. Image/Google Images