New nuclear plant screening system tested

New nuclear plant screening system tested

Japan's nuclear watchdog has begun the trial run of a new system for inspecting nuclear power plants. It will be introduced in 2020.

The trial took place at the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture on Monday and was shown to the media.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority plans to put the new system in place in April of 2020. It includes surprise inspections, so that safety checks are more effective and flexible.

Inspectors were seen interviewing utility employees about how they are supposed to put out a fire at the Ohi plant.

The Authority currently conducts inspections according to a schedule and check lists set by law.

Under the new scheme, inspectors will be able to check a wider range of safety issues at plants without prior notice. The inspectors are also expected to focus on high risk items based on observations at each plant concerning how equipment is operated.

Shinsuke Yamanaka, an official at the regulator, said he wants inspectors and utility officials to have a sufficient understanding of the new screening system.