The Nuclear Regulation Authority in Japan said that it will prioritize the safety screening process at the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. The announcement came on Thursday and implies that the Sendai reactors will likely be the first to pass the screening process and be allowed to restart.
On Wednesday night, NRA chairman, Shunichi Tanaka, said that most of the major safety issues at the Sendai plant have been resolved and that the regulators would begin wrapping up the screening process and compiling draft results.
Kyushu Electric has hoped to restart the Sendai nuclear power plant before the summer. After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the operator purchased two new emergency power-supply vehicles and two mobile generators to provide power for cooling the reactors in the event of a severe accident.
The next step in the restart process for the Kyushu Electric Power Company, operator of the Sendai plant, is to complete on-site inspections, solicit expert opinions on the restart, and hold public hearings in Kagoshima Prefecture.
Kagoshima Prefecture Governor Yuichiro Ito has said that the government must guarantee the Sendai plant’s safety and give a full explanation to residents in order to get their permission to restart.
Kagoshima Prefecture has not completed its emergency evacuation plans for the Sendai nuclear power plant but estimates that at least 200,000 people would have to be evacuated if an accident were to occur.