Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary
REPORTER: This morning, power transmission from Oi Nuclear Power Station in Fukui Prefecture was resumed. Could you give us the Government's reaction to this resumption of power transmission, including the current status of operations at the power station?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It is the case that yesterday, July 4, the adjustment of the turbines was completed, following which, at 7:00am this morning power transmission was restarted. The current status at the Unit 3 reactor is that output is being gradually increased, and by July 9 at the earliest thermal output is expected to reach 100 percent. Work is currently progressing towards the scheduled date of July 9 for full operations. With regard to the Unit 4 reactor, work is similarly underway towards the resumption of operations by July 18 at the earliest.
REPORTER: What is the reaction and the recognition of the Government with regard to the on-schedule resumption of power transmission?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government recognizes that procedures and operations have been advanced as scheduled and that the special monitoring system is functioning properly.
REPORTER: Now that a scheduled date for full power output has been set, what are the thoughts of the Government concerning the impact on power supply and demand during the summer months when power saving measures are in place?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: At the joint meeting of the Electricity Supply-Demand Review Meeting and the Energy and Environment Council Meeting held on June 22, it was announced that at the stage when the restart of Oi Nuclear Power Station Unit 3 reactors was confirmed, or in other words when power transmission was resumed and that constant rated thermal power operations were restored in full, the power saving targets for the service area of Kansai Electric Power Company would be revised and announced. Given that decision made in the joint meeting, I believe that approximately next week, when the resumption of power transmission at Oi Nuclear Power Station has been fully restored, I will be able to make an announcement concerning the revision to the power saving targets. I believe that the revised target will be somewhere around a 10 percent reduction.
REPORTER: Leading up to the restarting of operations, there was some degree of trouble, including the sounding of warning sirens. The Government has installed a special monitoring system at the power station, but I believe that the public remain concerned about safety aspects. What is the Government's understanding with regard to safety measures that are in place?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As I have mentioned on frequent occasions and as the Prime Minister has also stated in press conferences held in this room, the safety confirmation has not been made based on a political judgment, but rather it is based on the work and investigations of various expert committees implemented from last year, which have made technical and professional judgements on safety. The decision to restart operations on this occasion was also made based on the results of assessment of power supply and demand prospect. The special monitoring system has been put in place for future operations as well, and the Government seeks to make every effort to ensure that this system functions well.