The first reactor restart in Japan since last year’s earthquake and tsunami could be approved as early as this weekend, while in the capital Japanese legislators have agreed to a complete overhaul of the country’s nuclear regulatory framework.Developments over the last week related to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s severely damaged reactors at Fukushima Daiichi include:Mayoral Approval Moves Ohi Restart ForwardOn Thursday the mayor of Ohi town said he would approve of the restart of the eponymous nuclear plant owned by Kansai Electric Power Co. All of Japan’s reactors are now offline, and the mayor and others have expressed fears of significant power shortages and economic damage if they remain out of service. Kyodo reported the Fuki Prefecture governor is also expected to give his consent to the restart of Ohi units 3 and 4 as early as Saturday. That opens the possibility of final approval from the central government, potentially this weekend.Politicians Agree to Regulatory OverhaulJapanese political parties have reached an agreement to eliminate the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and replace it with a more independent commission of nuclear experts, not unlike the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the United States. The Asahi Shimbun said ruling and opposition parties reached the agreement Thursday. Once the legislation is enacted, they anticipate the new commission will be put in place by the end of September. While requiring parliamentary approval of their appointments, the five commissioners will be largely independent of the country’s Cabinet. They and a supporting agency will draw up new safety standards for nuclear plants, including a review of the 40-year reactor lifespan imposed by the proposed legislation.Newspaper Reports Warnings of Massive Tsunami Ignored by TEPCOOn Wednesday, the Asahi said it acquired TEPCO documents from several years ago that estimated a tsunami 13.5 meters – just under the height of the waves that devastated the plant last year – could flood emergency generators and cause a station blackout. The newspaper also reported that the company drew up a cost estimate of $100 million for a tide barrier capable of repelling a 20-meter tsunami but did not build it. According to the Asahi, in 2008 the company also calculated that a 15.7-meter tsunami was possible at the plant.
I´m looking forward that Japan will bringing online all their reactors till end of the year 2012. After passing the mandatory inspection of course.