TOKYO (AP) – A Japanese governor says the country should not restart any nuclear plants until the cause of the Fukushima meltdown is fully understood and nearby communities have emergency plans that can effectively respond to another major accident.
Hirohiko Izumida, governor of central Niigata prefecture – home to the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant – said Wednesday regulators look at equipment but don’t evaluate local evacuation plans.
His comment comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushes to restart two reactors in southern Japan following safety approval last month, the first under stricter requirements introduced after the Fukushima disaster.
Regulators are inspecting 18 other reactors, including two in Niigata operated by the utility that runs the Fukushima plant, which suffered meltdowns following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
All 48 workable Japanese reactors are currently offline.