MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) - Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) decision to restart the crippled Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture has made locals anxious over possible radiation leaks, The Japan Times reported Monday, citing the deputy chief of a group representing local citizens.
“Although various response measures seem to have been taken, it is hard to predict what kind of disaster will happen,” The Japan Times quoted Masayuki Sato as saying.
TEPCO has stressed that new breakwaters, vehicles with generators and fire trucks have been added at the plant, and that the plant’s staff have undergone enhanced training.
Despite that, Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida has been very cautious about TEPCO’s plans, saying “it’s too early to get the reactors back online.”
A magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit Japan in July 16, 2007, which led to a transformer at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant catching fire and radioactive substances leaking out. The plant was subsequently shut down.
In 2009 four of its seven reactors were brought back online. The reactors were deactivated again after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, when there was a meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant following an earthquake that hit northeastern Japan.
Niigata Governor Izumida insisted that the Fukushima accident be thoroughly examined first.
“I will keep insisting that it is essential to review Fukushima accident-related problems as problems common to all humankind and take countermeasures,” he remarked.