Japanese government agency in talks to restart nuclear power plants

Japanese government agency in talks to restart nuclear power plants
Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 9:14am

A Japanese government panel says safety tests for restarting two nuclear reactors in one prefecture are appropriate. It's the first time the Japanese government has made such an assessment. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety agency held a meeting of experts wednesday to give an assessment of computer simulated stress tests on two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant along the Japan Sea coast. People opposed to restarting the reactors protested the agency's decision not to allow observers in the meeting.

After a three hour delay, the agency opened discussions in a different meeting room. Two of the eight panel members who said it was inappropriate not to allow observers were absent. Japan's industry minister said video of the meeting would be released on its website. The agency plans to give a final assessment of the two reactors after receiving the results of inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The government must obtain local consent before restarting the reactors. Prefecture officials says the stress tests alone aren't enough to base a decision, and want the government to propose new measures based on the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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