Japan’s NRA has put two reactors at the Kashwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant on their “priority” list for restart screenings. The plant is owned by TEPCO and consists of newer boiling water reactors similar to unit 6 at Fukushima Daiichi or the units at Fukushima Daini. That doesn’t mean Kashiwazaki Kariwa has not been plagued by the same kinds of neglect and mismanagement that Fukushima Daiichi had.
Currently the reactors in Japan being given priority for restart screening have all been newer pressurized water reactors (PWR). Kashiwazaki Kariwa’s units are boiling water reactors (BWR). The Fukushima disaster highlighted the design and operational deficiencies with those type of reactors. So NRA’s sudden change is unexpected.
It would take several months to conduct the screenings, then the reactors would need to gain approval from the prefecture government. The governor so far has refused to even entertain the idea despite considerable pressure from TEPCO and the national government. He insists there should be no restarts at Kashiwazaki Kariwa until the events of the Fukushima disaster are fully understood.
This is a complete turn around from NRA’s position in 2013 that said understanding the Fukushima disaster fully is directly tied to any potential restart at Kashiwazaki Kariwa.
Our previous coverage of issues involving Kashwazaki Kariwa can be found here.
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