Tokyo Electric to Seek Restart of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa

Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi atomic station, plans to file an application with Japan’s nuclear regulator to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

The Tokyo-based utility, also known as Tepco, will apply to restart the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the station about 220 kilometers (137 miles) northeast of Tokyo as soon as possible, it said in a statement today.

Tepco, which had a 685.3 billion yen ($6.9 billion) loss last fiscal year, said in May 2012 that it would return to profit this year if it’s allowed to restart the reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. The company will seek to explain its decision to local governments, according to the statement.

“We have been implementing safety measures based on the lessons we learned as the company that caused the accident,” President Naomi Hirose told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo.

All but two of Japan’s 50 functioning reactors are idled for checks after the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station, which caused the evacuation of 160,000 people. The Nuclear Regulation Authority, set up last year, will accept restart applications from July 8.

Tepco rose 19 percent to its daily limit of 623 yen at the close on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the most since May 16. The Topix Electric Power & Gas Index rose 3.8 percent, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.8 percent.

Safety Guidelines

Japan’s nuclear regulatory authority last month finalized new safety guidelines required for any nuclear plant restarts.

The NRA was set up after the disaster to independently review Japan’s nuclear power.

Under the new safety rules, nuclear power plants will need to build secondary control centers at least 100 meters from reactor buildings to manage emergency cooling systems, and must install radiation filter vents. They also stipulate tsunami defenses must be based on the largest estimated waves from the most recent scientific assessments.

Tepco will finish installing the filter vents by the end of March 2014, Takafumi Anegawa, deputy chief for nuclear plant siting, told reporters.

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