Nuclear reactor suspended for safety measure delay

The operator of a nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan has suspended one of its reactors as it will not be able to meet the deadline to install mandatory facilities to deal with emergencies.

Kyushu Electric Power Company began work to reduce output at the No.2 reactor at the Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
The reactor went offline shortly before 1:00 p.m. on the same day.

It is the second reactor to be suspended because of a failure to meet part of the government's new regulations. The same plant's No.1 reactor was closed in March this year for the same reason.

The regulations were drawn up in 2013 after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant two years earlier.

They require nuclear plant operators to construct facilities to ensure the safety of reactors in the event of emergencies, such as acts of terrors and aircraft crashes.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority, or NRA, obliges the operators to complete such facilities within five years after construction plans have been approved.

The NRA says that the regulator at the time of the Fukushima Daiichi accident had not set clear deadlines for measures to deal with tsunami, and it had therefore failed to prevent the accident.