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One of Japan’s last 2 nuclear plants to shut down

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tokyo Electric Power Company will begin work to shut down a nuclear reactor in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, for regular inspections.

It is the only active reactor operated by TEPCO, and one of the last 2 reactors currently operating in Japan.

TEPCO will start procedures to reduce the power output at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant’s NO.6 reactor on Sunday, and complete the shutdown on Monday.

The utility firm will suspend all of its 17 reactors for the first time since 2003, when it was found that the company had covered up a series of safety problems.

TEPCO, which supplies power mainly to the Tokyo metropolitan area, had generated about 30 percent of its capacity with nuclear plants.

It will resume operations of retired thermal power plants and ask companies and households to conserve energy in order to make up for the loss of nuclear power.

Japan has 54 nuclear power reactors. At the time of the nuclear accident in March last year, 37 reactors were in operation.

The Tomari plant in Hokkaido will also suspend operations by early May. At that time all of Japan’s nuclear reactors could be shut down, if none of the reactors are allowed to resume operations.

On Friday, Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission endorsed the results of stress tests conducted on 2 nuclear reactors at the Ohi plant in Fukui Prefecture.

The government says it is now in the stage to decide if the state commission’s endorsement is sufficient to obtain local consent to restart the 2 reactors.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and 3 Cabinet ministers concerned with nuclear issues plan to discuss the matter soon.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

 

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NHK.