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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 20 - 26  > NRA declares aged reactors at Takahama NPP meet safety standards
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2016 April 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

NRA declares aged reactors at Takahama NPP meet safety standards

April 21, 2016
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) on April 20 finalized an assessment report that declares that the Nos 1 and 2 reactors at the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant (Fukui Prefecture) meet the new safety standards. With this decision, the NPP operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, has managed to take another step forward towards an extended use of the two reactors, both older than the legal upper limit of 40 years.

This is the first time for the NRA to approve a report that would pave the way for the extended operation of an aged reactor. The nuclear watchdog in February published a draft of the assessment report and invited opinions from the public.

Many civil groups are opposing the extension of aged reactors’ operations on the grounds that the longer a reactor is used, the more hazardous it becomes.

The Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law, which was revised in the wake of the meltdown at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, stipulates that the use of a reactor should be limited to 40 years in principle, but an overage reactor can operate for an additional 20 years if it obtains approval from the NRA.

The No. 1 reactor at the Takahama NPP was put in commercial operation in 1974 and the No. 2 in 1975, and thus they both have already passed the 40-year-limit. The two reactors will be allowed to go back online only if they have cleared additional safety examinations by early July.

Regarding the Takahama NPP, residents in and around Fukui Prefecture on April 14 filed a lawsuit with the Nagoya District Court, demanding that the state not approve the extended use of the aged reactors.


Past related articles:
> Local residents sue gov’t to decommission aged nuclear reactors [April 15, 2016]
> NRA okays use of 40-year-old reactors at Takahama NPP [February 25, 2016]
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