July 19, 2016 / 11:26 PM / 3 years ago

Local governor to seek shutdown of Japan's only operating nuke plant: media

Security personnel stands guard in front of an entrance gate of Kyushu Electric Power's Sendai nuclear power station in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan, August 7, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - A newly elected local governor will ask Kyushu Electric Power Co for a temporary shutdown of Sendai nuclear plant, Japan’s only operating facility, as early as August, Asahi newspaper said on Wednesday.

Anti-nuclear advocate Satoshi Mitazono told the paper in an interview that he wanted the shutdown for checks on the impact of a series of strong quakes that struck neighboring Kumamoto earlier this year amid heightened concerns from local residents about safety and evacuation plans.

Mitazono, who will become the governor of Kagoshima prefecture on July 28, will have no legal power to shut down operating reactors, but his consent will be required to restart Sendai after the reactors are stopped for scheduled maintenance starting in October.

A Kyushu Electric spokesman said the company would check the report but had no immediate comment.

Mitazono beat incumbent Yuichiro Ito, who had agreed to the resumption of nuclear power generation in Kagoshima prefecture in southwestern Japan, in an election on July 10.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Richard Pullin

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