The minister who also ordered Fukushima decommissioning to be done "ahead of schedule" says nuclear power plants will be restarted in fall, and that it will be up to the NRA to decide. He said the same thing back in April. I guess he subscribes to the idea that if you keep repeating it it will happen.
How a group of paltry 80 people at Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority/Agency can adequately assess the safety of nuclear power plants in less than 3 months is a mystery to me. One of the NRA's commissioners said it will take about six months (even that looks short), but he was thinking of inspecting only a few nuclear plants.
Nuke plant operators are set to flood the NRA with requests for restart. Here's Hokkaido Electric Power Company submitting restart requests for all three reactors. Good luck, NRA. You asked for it.
Jiji Tsushin (6/20/2013) reports:
Minister of Economy Motegi says nuclear plant restart will be as early as this fall
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi said in the evening of June 20 during the recording of a BS-TBS TV program that the restart of nuclear power plants under the new regulatory standard that will become effective on July 8 will be "in the fall at the earliest. It could be in winter. It's up to the NRA to decide." The earliest restart may be this fall, according to him.
I just can't help laughing at the station name. I know "BS" stands for "broadcast satellite", but to me "BS" stands for "BS", you know. (It is not Bachelor of Science either.)
By the way, NRA is very proud that it has managed to create, at least in their minds, the toughest safety standard for nuclear power plants in the world, in less than 10 months since the establishment of the organization. I don't know what basis the chairman and commissioners claim their standard to be the world toughest. I guess non-experts like us are supposed to take their words for it.
From Jiji (6//19/2013):
New standard "exactly what we intended", says NRA chairman Tanaka
NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said during the regular press conference on June 19 that the new regulatory standard for nuclear power plant that was decided on that day was "exactly what we intended, as we have been doing our best to come up with the toughest standard in the world. The true test of the new standard will come when we actually apply it."
Chairman Tanaka said, "We are told by people around the world that what's missing most [in Japan] is not just standards written down on paper but the safety culture." "The safety culture cannot be built overnight, but as the tough new standard is being enforced, I hope nuclear plant operators will learn that things may not work out the way they want, and they will experience what it is to be safe", Tanaka said.
Good luck with your "hope", Dr. Tanaka. Don't you know "hope" has been a dirty 4-letter word? Besides, I thought all Japan had before the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident was the safety culture - plant operators, regulators, and nuclear experts felt so safe that they decided not to think about anything bad, like a nuclear accident or 10-meter high tsunami.
The "world toughest safety standard" for nuclear power plants in Japan will become effective as of July 8, 2013, "ahead of schedule". The original schedule was July 18, 2013. To officially have this new standard 10 days earlier than planned is for some unknown reason considered a good thing.
Ever since LDP took back power under the prime minister with chronic stomach ailment, "ahead of schedule" seems to be in vogue.
So that they can all run to the toilet, I suppose, with Prime Minister Abe at the head of the pack.