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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 24 - March 1  > NRA okays use of 40-year-old reactors at Takahama NPP
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2016 February 24 - March 1 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

NRA okays use of 40-year-old reactors at Takahama NPP

February 25, 2016
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) on February 24 endorsed two aging reactors at the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture as fulfilling the safety requirements to go back online.

The Takahama No.1 and No.2 reactors began operating in November 1974 and November 1975, respectively. The reactivation of the two, if formally approved, will be the first among overage reactors also being sought to be used beyond the 40-year-limit.

The Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law sets the years of reactor use at 40 years in principle. The law, however, allows an extension of the limit for a maximum of another 20 years if the reactor passes a safety screening.

The longer the running period is, the more the possibility of failures and accidents increases. Being concerned about this point, some experts say that aging reactors should be kept offline.

Watanabe Takashi, a Japanese Communist Party member of the Takahama Town Assembly, revealed that when the two reactors were constructed, the townspeople were told that the operating lifespan of a reactor is 30 years.

Using these reactors for up to 60 years will put local citizens in great danger, warned the JCP assemblyperson. He criticized the town’s evacuation plan in the event of a nuclear accident as a mere desk plan which lacks viability. “I feel angry at the NRA’s attitude prioritizing the interests of power companies over public safety,” Watanabe added.

Past related articles:
> Reactivation of Takahama NPP sparks protest actions around country [January 30, 2016]
> New regulatory standards allow operations of 60-year-old nuclear reactors [June 20, 2013]
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