Tokyo Electric Power Co. will postpone the planned start of the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at its Higashidori nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture, a vice president of the firm told The Yomiuri Shimbun on Thursday.
He also indicated the utility would make drastic changes to the designs for both reactors in light of the recent crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
"Since we'll be including some new insights [in the construction plans] in our tsunami and earthquake measures, the start of operations will be significantly postponed," Vice President Takashi Fujimoto said during an exclusive interview.
Following the series of accidents caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, TEPCO decided to suspend construction of the No. 1 reactor at the Higashidori plant. This interview was the first time a top company executive has indicated the reactors' design would also be reviewed.
TEPCO originally planned to start operating the No. 1 reactor in March 2017 and the No. 2 reactor sometime in or after 2020. Both reactors are designed to generate 1,385,000 kilowatts of electricity.
As the firm has effectively abandoned plans to build a seventh and eighth reactor at the crippled Fukushima plant, this latest statement puts all its construction plans for new nuclear facilities under review.