Japan governor requests shutdown of Sendai nuclear plant

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Tokyo, Aug 26 (IANS) In a setback to government efforts to re-start nuclear reactors, a local Japanese governor on Friday asked the Kyushu Electric company to deactivate the two reactors of the Sendai nuclear power plant, one of only two nuclear facilities active in the country.

According to Kyodo news, Governor Satoshi Mitazono of Kagoshima petitioned the management of the Kyushu Electric company at a meeting for a fresh safety inspection following the earthquakes that rocked neighbouring Kumamoto Prefecture.

While the regional government does not possess the power to impose such a decision, Mitazono, an anti-nuclear advocate, said rising concerns among local residents about the safety of the nuclear facilities had led him to make the request.

Strong earthquakes shook the region in April this year, in a country that also witnessed a deadly quake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011, leading to the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl accident.

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The governor also sought information from the company on its contingency measures in the event of a nuclear accident.

The Sendai nuclear plant’s Reactors 1 and 2 were reactivated in August and October 2015, respectively, making the plant the first in the country to do so after stricter safety measures came into force in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.



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