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13 February, 2017

Kagoshima Experts’ Committee Confirms Sendai-1 Inspection Results

On February 7, Kagoshima Prefecture held the second meeting of its committee of experts addressing safety and other matters at the Sendai-1 (PWR, 890MWe), owned and operated by the Kyushu Electric Power Co. The unit is located in Satsumasendai City in the western part of the prefecture along the East China Sea coast.

Kyushu Electric Power stressed the safety of the Sendai-1, saying that no abnormalities had been found during a periodic inspection, and had asked the experts for their understanding. The committee accepted the results of the special and periodic inspections.

After the meeting, committee chairman Hiroki Miyamachi, professor of seismology and volcanic physics at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering in Kagoshima University, said that he wanted the committee to incorporate its earlier discussions into its recommendation to Kagoshima Governor Satoshi Mitazono, to be presented later this month, by February 18.

The meeting was the last to be held before the end of fiscal year 2016 (which ends on March 31, 2017). The assembled experts, studying the results of a disaster-prevention drill for a hypothetical nuclear accident held on January 28 by the prefecture and others, considered whether any aspects needed improvement.

Prior to the meeting, Chairman Miyamachi explained that his committee would not make any conclusions about the safety of the Sendai-1 itself, but would report on what it had discussed for Governor Mitazono to consider. The governor, who had asked the committee to evaluate the inspections, had expressed his intent to then make his “own judgment” based on the committee’s discussions.

The governor was elected last July having promised to establish such an experts’ committee. Having selected twelve members from such fields as nuclear power and seismology, he directed them to hold their first meeting two months ago, in December 2016.


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