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Kyoto governor opposes Oi reactors' reopening in current circumstances.

KYOTO, March 29 Kyodo

Kyoto Gov. Keiji Yamada on Thursday told officials of the government's nuclear safety agency that the prefecture cannot accept the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in neighboring Fukui Prefecture being reactivated in the current circumstances.

''I cannot accept their reactivation at this stage,'' Yamada told the officials of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, who visited Kyoto to explain that the state-mandated initial stress tests on the two idled reactors of Kansai Electric Power Co. have cleared requirements.

Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada, whom the officials later visited for a similar explanation, called for an unhurried decision. It was the first time the agency had explained the results of reactor stress tests to prefectural governments other than Fukui Prefecture where the Oi plant is located.

The agency said last month that Kansai Electric has taken sufficient measures for the Oi plant's Nos. 3 and 4 reactors to prevent the type of severe accident seen at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant from occurring even if they were hit by a big earthquake and tsunami comparable to those that crippled the Tokyo Electric Power Co. complex a year ago.

The Nuclear Safety Commission endorsed the agency's evaluation last week, leaving a final decision on whether to reactivate the two reactors to the government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

While winning approval from local governments is not a legal requirement, Noda has made it clear that he and ministers concerned will make a decision taking local opinions into account.

In Kyoto, about 67,000 people live in areas within a radius of 30 kilometers from the Oi power plant.

Yamada said, ''A safety standard that reflects technical knowledge learned from the accident at Tokyo Electric's Fukushima Daiichi power plant must be presented first.''

Following the Fukushima crisis, the government mandated Japanese nuclear power plants to take the two-stage stress test to check reactors' ability to withstand earthquakes and tsunami. Clearing the first stage of the test is a precondition for restarting reactors idled for routine checkups, with the two Oi reactors being the first to have done so.
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Publication:Japan Energy Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 2, 2012
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