Two more nuclear reactors in southwestern Japan, units 3 and 4 units at the Genkai NPP in Saga Prefecture, completed their safety assessment with the Nuclear Regulation Authority on 18 January, but it is unclear whether operator Kyushu Electric Power Co will win local consent to bring them back on line in face of continuing safety concerns.
The city of Imari in Saga, which is located within 30km of the plant, has expressed concerns over evacuation preparations. After the Fukushima disaster, the central government increased the area around nuclear plants that should prepare for evacuation from a 10km radius to 30km.
While Japan has 43 commercial reactors, only two are now operating – unit 1 at Kyushu Electric's Sendai NPP in Kagoshima Prefecture and unit 3 at Shikoku Electric Power Co's Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture. Sendai 2 is operable, but is undergoing regular checkups at the moment. Two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co's Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture were also brought back on line last year after clearing the safety checks, but faced a court injunction in connection with safety issues and there are no clear prospects for when they will restart.