Merci Nikkei.com 4/9/2012
Osaka Pref, City Govts Call For Halt To 2 Oi Plant Reactors
OSAKA (Kyodo)--The Osaka prefectural and municipal governments on Tuesday called for a halt to the operation of two reactors at the Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture ahead of the end Friday of this summer's more than two-month power-saving period.
The two local governments filed the call with the central government and plant operator Kansai Electric Power Co.
Kansai Electric, Japan's second-largest power utility based in Osaka, restarted the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at the four-reactor Oi plant in July, which became the first among the country's 50 commercial reactors to be reactivated in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
In a joint statement adopted at their meeting on energy earlier in the day, the two local governments said the two reactors should be shut down, noting the demand-supply situation for electric power is not so tight and that many Japanese nationals now want a nuclear-free Japan.
In the statement, the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments criticized the central government for resuming the operation of the reactors in the absence of long-range energy policies or sufficient safety measures.
The decision to restart the Oi reactors does not respect people's wish for a nuclear-free Japan, it said.
The statement also said the central government has failed to satisfy the local governments' call for utilities to conclude safety agreements with authorities of local entities located within 100 kilometers of a nuclear power plant before restarting reactors.
In April, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who heads a local political group called Osaka Ishin no Kai (Osaka restoration association), filed the request with Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura. Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui serves as secretary general of the local group.
Earlier this year, the central government asked the nation to save power this summer by up to 15 percent from the summer of 2010 due to a complete halt to commercial reactors.
But it eased power-saving targets as the full-capacity operation of the two reactors of the Oi plant alleviated electricity shortages.