(LinkAsia: January 20, 2012)
The International Energy Agency says that Japan is generating electricity from oil, because only 5 of the country’s 54 nuclear reactors are in operation. According to the utility TEPCO, two reactors in Niigata prefecture just passed an earthquake stress test, which means they can stay open. But Japanese broadcaster NHK tells us the governor of Niigata is skeptical.
NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: January 16, 2012
TEPCO gave the nuclear and industrial safety agency the results of tests on the number one and number 7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata prefecture. The tests are a precondition for restarting the reactors. Tepco claims the reactors could endure a tsunami of up to 15 meters, nearly 5 times as high than the safety standards set by the company.
Zengo Aizawa (TEPCO):
We considered the two reactors more than safe enough. We want to explain the results to local residents and authorities. We also want to consult with them about how to proceed.
Niigata governor Hirohiko Izumida says it’s still too early to decide whether to restart the reactors.
Hirohiko Izumida (Niigata governor):
Doing stress tests is better than nothing. Of course, TEPCO has to factor in what really happened at Fukushima-Daiichi. Otherwise, what’s the point in having this kind of computer simulation?
Japan’s utilities have submitted stress test results for 14 reactors. That’s nearly 30 percent of the reactors that have been shut down for inspections.