28 Janvier 2016
January 26, 2016
Jan. 26, 2016 - Updated 12:16 UTC+1
Japan's nuclear regulator has rejected an application by the operator of the Sendai plant to continue using an existing building as an emergency office.
It says the operator's revised plan to keep using the building as an emergency office will not ensure improved safety.
The No.1 and No.2 reactors at the Sendai plant in southwestern Japan were put back online last year.
During the reactors' screening process, Kyushu Electric Power Company submitted a plan to build a structure with the latest quake-absorbing technology, including the emergency office, by the end of March this year.
The utility cleared the screening by constructing a temporary building for use until the quake-absorbing one is completed.
But last month, the utility submitted a revised plan to the Nuclear Regulation Authority, saying the existing building is fully capable of serving as an emergency office.
Under the revised plan, the utility will not construct a quake-absorbent structure and will only build a quake-resistant support facility with break rooms and a doctor's office.
Utility officials explained at Tuesday's meeting of the regulator that the quake-resistant technology has already passed the screening process, and so the new building could be opened earlier. They say this would ensure greater safety at the plant.
Authority member Toyoshi Fuketa said the application does not explain when the facility could be put into service, and so the claim of improved safety is groundless. He asked Kyushu Electric Power to submit a new application.
The utility says it will consider what to do, with an eye to reapplication.
The issue of the emergency office does not affect the regular operations of the plant.