More Tepco reactors offline

17 February 2003

The next reactor planned to be taken off line will be Kashiwazaki-Kariwa 5 early in March; then Kashiwazaki-Kariwa 7 and Fukushima I-2 at the end of March; finally Fukushima I-6 on 15 April. All four of the Fukushima II reactors are currently off line.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to allow Tepco's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa 3 and Chubu's Hamaoka 4 to run with cracks in core shrouds left unrepaired. The go-ahead was given on the condition that the cracks would come under the government's regular facility inspections.

It is the first time that the Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency (NISA) has permitted a reactor to operate without cracks repaired, in line with a recent policy. Under this policy, adopted at the end of December, operators could resume operating damaged reactors if their safety could be ensured for a period of five years and inspections made regularly.

Resumption of the reactors now hinges on whether the utilities manage to win support from local governments and residents.

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