As summer approaches, Japan’s prime minister promised a decision soon on restarting the Ohi reactors, which would be the first units to return to service since the station blackout at Fukushima Daiichi.Recent developments related to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant severely damaged following last year’s earthquake and tsunami include:Noda: Decision on Ohi Restart NearOn Thursday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said he will make a decision soon on whether to allow Kansai Electric Power Co. to restart two reactors at its Ohi plant. The country has been without nuclear power for the first time in 40 years since its last reactors went offline for maintenance earlier this month and local political resistance has kept plants from restarting following outages. Also spelled “Oi,” the KEPCO plant cleared a technical review of its severe accident resilience last month. On Monday, Kyodo news reported, the local government of the eponymous town near the plant said it would support the reactors’ restart, citing the potential for economic damage if the outage continues. The mayor said he will make a decision on whether to approve the restart by the end of the month, which Kyodo indicated he is likely to do.Thermometer Miswired at Unit 1On Monday, TEPCO workers found a piece of monitoring equipment at unit 1 was wired incorrectly. While installing equipment to measure the direct current resistance of a thermometer, a TEPCO release said, “We found that the wiring for safety valve 4B thermometer (TE-261-13B) and safety valve 4C thermometer (TE-261-13C) connected to the digital recorder in PCV was done in a opposite manner. At 7:12 PM on the same day, the connection was redone properly. The cause of this miswiring is currently being investigated.”Monitoring Post Near Gate MalfunctionsA portable monitoring post at the main entrance to the plant briefly stopped recording data Wednesday afternoon. TEPCO said the problem was likely caused by an issue with the transmission system between the main anti-earthquake building and the post. The equipment was reset an hour and a half after the condition was found. Measurements taken manually to replace the missing data showed a dose of 22 microsieverts per hour.
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