Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is expected to adopt updated nuclear safety guidelines on July 8th which will require power companies to improve safety measures meant to mitigate severe accidents that up until now had only been considered voluntary. Operating utilities will be obliged to plan to cope with bigger earthquakes and higher tsunamis than previously expected.
NHK has reported that 6 PWR nuclear power plants plan to apply for restart of idled nuclear reactors as soon as the new guidelines are established, although none of the plants will meet all the new safety standards. The plants hoping to restart are the Tomari nuclear power plant, the Ohi nuclear power plant, the Takahama nuclear power plant, the Ikata nuclear power plant, the Genkai nuclear power plant and and the Sendai nuclear power plant.
Only one of the six nuclear power plants has a seismically resistant building capable of serving as an emergency command center as required by the new guidelines, the others have plans to complete their emergency command centers in two years. None of the power stations have yet completed the breakwater required by the new regulation safety standards and even if the NRA were to allow the utilities to seek restarting the nuclear power plants it would also require approval from local communities.