Japanese nuclear power plant pushes to reopen sooner than planned
The operator of a Japanese nuclear plant that was shut down in the wake of the crisis at another facility has said it hopes to be back up and running sooner than originally planned, media reports said Friday.
The president of Chubu Electric Power Co said Thursday the company was studying ways to cut the period of inactivity of its Hamaoka plant to less than the two or three years originally considered necessary to address safety concerns, dpa reported.
Chubu Electric was studying "ultimate" measures such as higher breakwaters to protect the plant in Shizuoka prefecture from a future tsunami, Akihisa Mizuno was quoted as saying by Kyodo News agency.
"It's important for us to explain (to local people) and win understanding as early as possible," the company president was quoted as saying.
The company was being hit by the rising price of fuel for its thermal power generation, Mizuno said. He also asked customers to conserve energy between 1 and 4 pm, Monday to Wednesday, to ease demand during peak hours.
The Hamaoka plant, located in a seismically active area in the centre of the country, was ordered to shut down by the government after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami hit another plant in the north-east.
The disaster knocked out the cooling system at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which suffered explosions and fires and has been leaking radioactive substances ever since.