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Chugoku Electric to get all local consent needed for new reactor

Shimane Gov. Zembee Mizoguchi expressed an intention Tuesday to approve Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s plan to operate its new nuclear reactor, paving the way for the utility’s application for government screening.

The city of Matsue, which hosts the Shimane nuclear plant, the neighboring Tottori Prefecture and other cities in the two prefectures located within 30 kilometers of the facility have already given consent to activation of the No. 3 reactor.

Among reactors still under construction at the time of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the No. 3 reactor at the Shimane plant facing the Sea of Japan will be the second to be screened by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Mizoguchi spoke about his decision in a press conference. His consent will be officially given to the operator on Thursday.

Construction of the No. 3 unit is nearly complete. The Shimane plant’s No. 1 reactor was decommissioned and the No. 2 unit is undergoing periodic inspection.

The No. 3 unit is a boiling water reactor, the same type as those at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The reactor’s maximum output of 1,373 megawatts makes it one of the largest in the country.

Chugoku Electric was initially aiming for activation of the reactor in December 2011 after starting its construction in 2006, but the plan was postponed following the Fukushima disaster.

With the introduction of more stringent safety standards for nuclear power plants, Chugoku Electric is spending around 500 billion yen ($4.5 billion) to strengthen its quake resistance and add more safety features.

Source: The Mainichi