TEPCO to Face Penalty over N-Plant Security Flaws

Economy Politics

Tokyo, March 24 (Jiji Press)--The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday decided to impose administrative punishment on Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> over security flaws at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in central Japan.

The NRA will ban TEPCO from moving nuclear fuel at the plant in Niigata Prefecture until it is confirmed that the company has fixed the problem.

It will be the second administrative order to be issued for a violation of rules under the law to regulate nuclear reactors. The first was imposed in 2013 on the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture, also central Japan.

The No. 7 reactor of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant has passed the NRA’s safety screening for a restart. But TEPCO will have to suspend its preparations for reactivating the reactor because the envisaged order will prohibit the company from loading nuclear fuel into the reactor.

The NRA is expected to take at least one year to confirm an improvement in the security measures at the plant. It is uncertain when TEPCO will be able to restart the reactor.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press