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» Gov’t requested for utilities to decide whether to scrap aging reactors

The government called for utilities to swiftly decide whether to scrap aging reactors that would be particularly vulnerable in the event of a natural disaster.

The pro-nuclear government, which is seeking to reactivate idled reactors as soon as possible, is pushing the operators to decide quickly in the hope that shutting down old facilities will help mitigate public concern over nuclear safety and make it easier to secure local consent for reactor restarts.

Under new, tighter safety standards adopted following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, utilities are not allowed to operate nuclear reactors more than 40 years in principle.

The nuclear safety regulator can grant one-time extensions of up to 20 years, but that would require power companies to spend massive amounts on upgrading equipment and boosting plant safety.

Among a total of 48 commercial reactors in Japan — all of which are currently offline amid safety concerns following the Fukushima nuclear crisis — seven are around 40 years old.

<Media Report>
Utilities urged to decide soon on scrapping of aging reactors (Mainichi Newspaper)


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