Friday, August 10, 2007

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant May Need Year for Repairs

From the Australian Broadcasting Company:

The head of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has indicated that it could be a year before a Niigata Prefecture nuclear power plant, damaged by the July 16 earthquake, can resume operations.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo after a four-day inspection of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station, Philippe Jamet, director of the IAEA's Nuclear Installation Safety Division, said the process of restarting the plant could take ''months or a year".

"[It is] not something you can do very fast. It was a very big earthquake,'' he said.

Japanese nuclear experts have said it would take at least a year to put the plant back into operation, but it was the first time that a third-party body such as the IAEA has expressed such a forecast.

Asked whether a report the IAEA will issue about damage to the plant would contain negative news for Japan, Mr Jamet said, ''I'm not too worried".

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