Japanese governor says too soon to restart nuclear plants

Global News

TOKYO – A Japanese governor said Wednesday the country should not restart any nuclear plants until the cause of the Fukushima meltdown is fully understood and nearby communities have emergency plans that can effectively respond to another major accident.

Hirohiko Izumida, governor of central Niigata prefecture – home to the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant – said regulators look at equipment but don’t evaluate local evacuation plans.

This June 2013 photo shows an overview of Sendai nuclear power plant complex in Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Japan. The plant in southern Japan won regulators’ approval Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 for meeting safety requirements imposed after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, a key step toward becoming the first reactor to restart under the tighter rules. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) This June 2013 photo shows an overview of Sendai nuclear power plant complex in Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to restart two reactors in southern Japan that last month were the first to be approved under stricter safety requirements introduced after the Fukushima disaster. Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka has called the new standard one of the world’s highest.

Regulators are inspecting 18 other reactors, including two in Niigata operated by the utility that runs the Fukushima plant…

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