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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 April 14 - 20  > NRA effectively bans further operations at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant
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2021 April 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

NRA effectively bans further operations at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant

April 15, 2021

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) on April 14 issued a de fact ban on operations at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture due to serious flaws in measures against terrorism and for the physical protection of nuclear materials.

The NRA effectively prohibits TEPCO from loading nuclear fuel into nuclear reactors at the plant until "self-sustained improvement" is implemented. With this ban, the restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant has become uncertain.

In September 2020, a TEPCO employee gained unauthorized access to the plant's central control room by using another employee's ID card without permission. After March 2020, intruder detection equipment failed to properly function at 15 locations at the plant. In addition, the replacement equipment installed at ten of these locations was found to be "very poor".

Japanese Communist Party Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji held a press conference in the Diet building on the same day and said, "It is a matter of course for the NRA to decide to place a ban on operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant."

Pointing out that the Economy, Trade, and Industry Ministry (METI) provided guidance pertaining to the plant several times before problems came to light, Kokuta said, "The METI responsibility for guidance should also be called into question."
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