At a press conference on Wednesday, Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman Shunichi Tanaka said that the agency will not allow the Ohi reactors to continue operations if they fail to meet nuclear safety standards. Japan recently drafted new guidelines which are expected to be adopted in April and introduced in July.
The new guidelines mandate that utilities are required to have a back-up control room, install filtered vents, develop a method of injecting coolant water to a molten core that has already escaped the reactor pressure vessel, ensure structures are be able to withstand external attacks, and supply operators in order that they may be capable of managing a severe accident for more than 7 days without outside help.
The proposed rules also set criteria for evacuating areas around nuclear power plants during an emergency.
Kansai Electric, the utility operating the Ohi plant, was permitted to resume their operation last July until September 2013, when the reactors are required to shut down for inspection. In November 2012, Kansai Electric announced that they plan to restart two units at the Takahama nuclear power plant after July 2013.
Source: JiJi Press