JAPAN | Saga governor to decide in weeks on plant restart

Posted on July 1, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | Friday, July 01, 2011 20:16 +0900 (JST)

The governor of Saga Prefecture in southwestern Japan has indicated that he will decide within a few weeks whether to approve the restart of reactors at a local nuclear power plant.

At the prefectural assembly on Friday, Governor Yasushi Furukawa reiterated his view that the Genkai nuclear plant is safe to operate.

Two of the 4 reactors at Genkai remain halted since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. They were offline for regular safety checks at the time.

The governor indicated his belief in the plant’s safety earlier in the week, after meeting economy minister Banri Kaieda on Wednesday. The minister assured him that the government will guarantee nuclear plant safety.

Furukawa said that mid-July may be an appropriate time for a final decision on the restart, because a briefing for residents and an assembly session are scheduled in early July.

He added that he is asking Prime Minister Naoto Kan to visit Saga so that he can hear Kan’s views directly before deciding.

The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant forced the suspension of many nuclear reactors across Japan.

Genkai may become the first plant to resume full operations, although safety concerns continue to occupy local authorities and residents.

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Posted in: JAPAN