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Statement by Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, Chairman of Keizai Doyukai
On the Restart of Sendai Nuclear Power Plant, Kyushu Electric Power Company

August 11, 2015

Yoshimitsu Kobayashi
Chairman, Keizai Doyukai

  1. Kyushu Electric Power Company Inc. reactivated one of its reactors at Sendai Nuclear Power Plant today. It is the first case that passed the screening under the new plant safety standards set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. We appreciate the move as a first step toward reconstructing Japan's energy supply-demand structure.
  2. Our national economy and people's lives are seriously impacted by the factors such as the energy price hike, the lower energy self-sufficiency ratio, and the increase of greenhouse gas emission, caused by all the nuclear reactors going offline after the Great East Japan earthquake. It took more than two years for this reactivation since the assessment application was submitted. The enhancement of the assessment efficiency with expanding professional staff is to be realized by making the most of the experiences obtained from the assessment until today. This will ensure the reactivation of other reactors that clear the safety standards.
  3. In this regard, we request the government, municipalities, and operators to make continued efforts for each reactor's safety enhancement in terms of setting up highly effective evacuation plans from less tangible aspects. The same efforts should apply to the accurate information disclosure to the public. These efforts must be based on the reflections and lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Furthermore, the government should play an active role in quickly establishing practical measures for treatment and disposal of the high-level radioactive waste, handling the nuclear fuel cycle issue, and the discussion on the ownership and the operation of nuclear plants. Government's involvement as such is inevitable for the sustainable nuclear power generation business.

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