19 Décembre 2015
December 18, 2015
By JUNICHIRO NAGASAKI/ Staff Writer
FUKUOKA--Kyushu Electric Power Co. will build off-site emergency response centers to cope with possible terrorist attacks on its two recently restarted nuclear reactors in Kagoshima Prefecture, the utility announced Dec. 17.
The company applied to the Nuclear Regulation Authority the same day for permission to establish the centers at the Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsuma-Sendai.
Kyushu Electric plans to put 95 billion yen ($775 million) into the project. The centers’ installation is required under the nuclear safety standards that took effect following the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
Plans include an emergency control room from which workers can cool reactors via remote control in the event of an aircraft crashing into a nuclear facility in a terrorist attack, and other emergencies.
The project also includes the installation of a filtered vent that can lower the amount of radioactive materials spewing into the atmosphere in a nuclear accident.
Kyushu Electric plans to complete construction by 2020. The nation’s nuclear power plant operators were originally obliged to set up an emergency response center by July 2018, five years after the implementation of the safety regulations.
However, the NRA plans to extend the deadline because of the slow progress on its screening of nuclear facilities.
As a result, the deadline for an emergency response center for the No. 1 reactor of the Sendai plant is expected to be March 2020, and May 2020 for the No. 2 reactor.
Kyushu Electric also announced the additional construction of storage batteries, which will serve as an emergency power source.
The company said it would not build a new quake-proof building as a nuclear accident emergency response center because an alternative that has already been set up at the plant meets safety regulations.
However, the company will construct a new quake-resistant building featuring accommodations and other facilities and secure functions to support the alternative emergency response center.
The move marks the fourth time a utility has submitted such an application to the Japan’s nuclear watchdog, following similar applications by others including Kansai Electric Power Co. for its No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.
Kyushu Electric’s No. 1 reactor at the Sendai nuclear power plant became the first to be restarted in Japan under tougher safety regulations on Aug. 11, followed by the No. 2 reactor, which was brought back online on Oct. 15.