Local government officials cast doubt over safety of nuclear power at Oi restart meetings

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At a meeting with local leaders in Osaka on Saturday, local government leaders in the Kansai region voiced their opposition to restarting reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, casting doubt over the safety of nuclear power, despite calls from disaster management minister Goshi Hosono and other central government officials asking for their support.

Hosono explained measures implemented by the government and power firms emphasized the safety of the two Oi reactors.

In response, Hashimoto said: “I expect the new nuclear regulatory agency will put together comprehensive safety standards. Until then, the reactors should not be allowed to resume full operations.”

The government plans to create the new regulatory agency by integrating the industry ministry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and the Cabinet Office’s Nuclear Safety Commission. The new agency will operate under the Environment Ministry.

. Hashimoto also suggested that even if the Oi reactors are restarted, they should only be used when the supply-demand balance is tight.

Wakayama Gov. Yoshinobu Nisaka criticized the government for pushing reactor restarts. “Politicians should wait for the green light from experts, but they are taking the initiative,” he said.

Source: The Yomiuri

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