Japanese nuclear firm must switch reactors off for missing construction deadline

Kyushu Electric Power Company had to start shutting down one of two reactors at its Sendai plant at 2.30am today because it missed a five-year deadline for building new facilities to deal with extreme emergencies.

It is the first time a reactor in Japan will go offline for failing to meet strict government regulations drafted after the Fukushima disaster.

Drawn up in 2013, the rules oblige plant operators to build facilities to ensure reactor safety in the event of terror attacks, plane crashes and other emergencies.

Operators must finish the work within five years from the approval of construction plans.

Kyushu Electric said it aims to finish building the safety facilities by December, after which it will apply to get the reactor back online, Japan’s national broadcaster, NHK, reports.

The utility will also shut down Sendai’s second reactor in May for the same reason.

Image: Sendai nuclear power plant, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, in 2007 (Kyushu Electric Co./CC BY-SA 2.0)

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