JAPAN | Genkai mayor retracts nuke plant restart consent

Posted on July 7, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | Thursday, July 07, 2011 13:19 +0900 (JST)

The mayor of Genkai Town in southwestern Japan says he will retract his approval for the restart of 2 reactors at a nuclear power plant in his town.

Mayor Hideo Kishimoto on Monday gave the green light to Kyushu Electric Power Company which operates the Genaki plant. The 2 reactors at the plant remain idle after routine check-ups were completed in April.

But on Wednesday, the central government announced it will conduct a so-called “stress test” at all nuclear power plants in Japan. The test will assess the ability to withstand severe accidents.

At a news conference on Thursday, Mayor Kishimoto criticized the government for adding the stress test as a condition for plant restarts. He noted the central government had previously said that it was safe for the Genkai plant to resume operations.

The mayor said his earlier decision to approve the reactors’ restart appears to have been made in vain and feels nothing but anger at the government.

Genkai town assembly on Thursday approved the mayor’s intent to revoke his approval for the Genkai plant restart. Kishimoto said he will convey the decision to the Kyushu Electric president during the day.

The Genkai plant was to be the first in Japan since the March 11th disaster to be given the official go-ahead by the hosting municipality to resume operations.

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Posted in: JAPAN