On August 4, 2015, Consumers Union of Japan participated in the meeting in the Japanese Parliament on the issue of the restart of the Sendai Nuclear Plant No. 1 reactor in Kagoshima prefecture, southern Japan.
Mr. Naoto Kan, the former Prime Minister at the time of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant accident in 2011, attended the meeting where two officials from the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) were invited by Mr. Kan to answer questions between 1:30 and 5:00 PM.
It is 31 years since the Sendai Nuclear Plant’s oldest reactor first began operating on July 4, 1984. Construction started in 1979. Japan now has rules that state that nuclear plants that have been operating for over 30 years must go through thorough checks, and the company operating nuclear reactors must submit reports when a reactor reaches that limit. That has not been done properly until now in the case of Sendai. For example, the owner is required to draw up long-term measures to ensure the safety of equipment, which NRA said can be done later… Also, in the report just submitted by Kyushu Electric, there are parts that have been blacked out for “corporate secrecy” reasons!
Even so, today on August 5, the NRA approved the restart of this old nuclear reactor.
Participants at yesterday’s meeting, including Mr. Kan, requested the NRA officials not to approve the restart of such an old and possibly unsafe nuclear plant. The procedure is not following the guidelines or laws of nuclear plant operation. However, the officials during the meeting yesterday repeatedly claimed that it would not be against any law to make a decision today, in spite of the concerns raised.
We should keep raising our strong voices against this decision-making process.
We continue to oppose the restart of the Sendai Nuclear Plant No. 1 reactor in Kagoshima.
Report by Koa Tasaka, chairperson of CUJ