TOKYO Jan 5 Tokyo Electric Power Co (9501.T),
the nation's top utility, will postpone its planned
construction of a nuclear reactor in northern Japan by one year
to comply with tougher safety rules, Japanese business daily
Nikkei reported on Saturday.
TEPCO had planned to start building a reactor at the
Higashidori nuclear power plant in Aomori prefecture, northern
Japan, in fiscal 2008/09 that starts in April.
But now with the delay, the plant will probably become
operational from fiscal 2015/16, a year later than TEPCO had
planned, the newspaper added.
The tougher screening process has been in place since a
powerful earthquake last July led to a shutdown of TEPCO's
Kashiwazaki-Karima nuclear plant in the northwest of the
country because of radiation leaks and a string of other
problems caused by the quake.
Following the earthquake, the government ordered safety
reviews of all nuclear power plants, including those still in
the planning stage.
As these safety rules require detailed examinations of
geological conditions and formation of planned sites, TEPCO may
have to conduct additional geographical surveys, including
studying underwater faults, for the new Higashidori reactor,
the Nikkei reported.
The nuclear run rate has already been hovering at a
relatively low level in Japan since TEPCO shut down its
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, the world's largest
(Reporting by Yoko Nishikawa; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)