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Japan to Submit Stress Tests Draft to Safety Commission Tomorrow

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency plans to submit a draft on stress testing power stations to the country’s top atomic safety commission tomorrow, a spokesman said.

The draft to be submitted to the Nuclear Safety Commission will outline the timetable and details of the stress test, NISA spokesman Noboru Noguchi said by phone from Tokyo today.

The so-called stress tests on nuclear stations were announced last week by Trade Minister Banri Kaieda, almost three weeks after he declared all reactors safe. Shikoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. have delayed restarting units because of concerns about the safety of Japan’s atomic power industry after the Fukushima disaster.

The tests, to be carried out in two phases, may take more than six months, Tetsuya Yamamoto, the director of the nuclear power inspection division of NISA, said in a phone interview. The first tests will be on units idled for maintenance and may take as long as two months, the Nikkei newspaper said today.

“We don’t know how long the tests will take. It depends on the preparations of individual utilities,” Yamamoto said.

The second phase checks will cover all reactors, the government said earlier.

“They will be similar to tests in Europe, which take about half a year. Japan’s tests may take about the same time,” Yamamoto said.

Testing will be carried out by the power utilities and their results will be checked by NISA, Shigeharu Kato, an official for the Nuclear Safety Commission, said at a news conference on July 11. The safety commission will examine the validity of the agency’s checks.

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