Nuclear regulators to inspect plant in Niigata

Japanese nuclear regulators are planning an on-site confirmation of security measures at a plant in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan.

Tokyo Electric Power Company submitted a report last week to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on a series of serious breaches of anti-terrorism measures at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.

Authority members at their meeting on Wednesday called for careful examination of the report, citing a need to discuss not only measures to prevent a recurrence but also the operator's anti-terrorism measures and safety culture.

Authority chair Fuketa Toyoshi said the key is whether or not the safety of the plant had been compromised.

He said the body will be looking into whether TEPCO's anti-terrorism measures and safety culture had declined in quality.

Fuketa suggested that authority members will visit the plant to confirm the contents of the report and the operator's views on safety.

The authority banned TEPCO from transferring nuclear fuel after a series of security breaches at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant came to light this year.

The plant will be kept offline until the authority judges that the situation has improved.