Japan Allow The World’s Largest Nuclear Facility To Reopen
December 28, 2023 / By Zunair Tahir / World News
TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility is now able to resume operations following the lifting of the safety prohibition. The facility still need authorization from regional administrations, though.
The biggest nuclear power plant in the world, Tokyo Electric Power’s (TEPCO) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactor, was freed from a safety prohibition, the Japanese nuclear authority said on Wednesday.
Because of the plant’s high running costs, TEPCO has been considering restarting it. It is currently required to obtain authorization from local authorities in Kariwa village, Kashiwazaki city, and Niigata prefecture.
TEPCO’s sole operational atomic power plant was the 8,212 megawatt (MW) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility. Since all of Japan’s nuclear power reactors were shut down in the wake of the Fukushima accident in March 2011, the site has been unavailable since 2012.
The de facto restriction was lifted by the Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) when it was determined that TEPCO was now better equipped. The body has carried out more than 4,000 hours of inspection of its facilities.
The facility was previously prohibited from functioning by the NRA in 2021 as a result of safety violations and inadequate counterterrorism measures. This includes an event when an unapproved employee gained access to key plant sections and a failure to safeguard nuclear items.
Subsequently, it issued an injunction prohibiting TEPCO from putting fuel rods into its reactors or bringing in fresh uranium fuel for the facility.
The government’s principal spokesperson, Yoshimasa Hayashi, stated, “The government will seek the understanding and cooperation of Niigata prefecture and local communities, emphasizing’safety-first’.”
Following the ruling, TEPCO declared that it will keep trying to win over the local populace and society at large to its cause. A Tokyo court decided on Tuesday that TEPCO, the only operator of the nuclear power plant Fukushima that was destroyed by the tsunami, was required to compensate the evacuees, numbering in the hundreds.
Japan has been working to lessen its dependency on imported fossil fuels by reactivating all of its domestic nuclear power facilities that adhere to the safety network. However, there are instances where residents or other regulatory agencies object.