Tepco receives safety approval to restart Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant reactors
Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) has secured an initial safety approval from the country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) to restart two of seven 1,356MW capacity reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant situated in the Niigata Prefecture.
This initial approval was granted following successful completion of a new safety review.
New safety standards were set in Japan in 2011 following the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The newly granted safety approval for the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant was passed by five NRA commissioners, and is the first approval for Tepco since the Fukushima incident, reported Reuters.
Before granting a formal approval, the NRA is set to hear public opinions, reported Nikkei.
Various opinion polls have showed that the local people in Japan are opposing the restart of idled nuclear power plants.
It has also been said the government may not allow a re-start of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant until Tepco finishes a review of the Fukushima accident, which could run beyond 2020.
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is one of the world's biggest plants in terms of capacity. All seven reactors can generate a combined output of around 8.21GW of electricity.