NRA Decides to Issue Order to TEPCO over N-Plant Security Flaws

Economy Society

Tokyo, April 14 (Jiji Press)--The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday decided to issue an administrative order to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> over security flaws at its nuclear power station in central Japan, a move that will make the plant's restart impossible for an extended period of time.

TEPCO will be prohibited from moving nuclear fuel at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station in Niigata Prefecture until the Japanese government agency confirms improvements in security measures at the plant through additional inspections.

The plant's No. 7 reactor has passed the NRA's safety screening needed for its restart. But TEPCO will be unable to bring it back online before the lifting of the NRA order, which includes a ban on the loading of nuclear fuel into the reactor.

Since January 2018, multiple situations in which it was impossible to detect potential intruders, such as terrorists, occurred at the plant. For example, TEPCO failed to take sufficient alternative steps although equipment to detect intruders became dysfunctional.

Last month, the NRA rated the situation at the plant at the most serious level on its four-tier assessment scale, saying that the security flaws could have led the plant to a grave situation in terms of nuclear material protection.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press