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22 June, 2016

NRA Approves Extensions of Operating Periods to 60 Years for Takahama-1 and -2, the First for Aging Reactors

At a meeting on June 20, Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved extensions to 60 years of the current 40-year operating lifetimes for the Takahama-1 and -2 Nuclear Power Plants (PWRs, 826MWe each), owned and operated by the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP).

Takahama-1 & -2Under the new regulatory system established in the wake of the accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operating lives of NPPs are limited in principle to 40 years, as mentioned above, with a possible one-time extension of a further 20 years at maximum. The Takahama units were the first to which these regulations were applied. Administratively, moreover, the operation both units had been approved to July 7, 2016, despite Unit 1 having reached its 40-year mark in November 2014 and Unit 2 one year later, in November 2015. That was carried out as an “extraordinary case” under the revised law for the regulation of nuclear source material, nuclear fuel material and reactors (the so-called Reactor Regulation Law)...more
20 June, 2016

Otsu District Court Upholds Temporary Injunction against Takahama 3&4, Keeping It Closed

On June 17, the Otsu District Court, led by Judge Yoshihiko Yamamoto, rejected a request by the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP) to temporarily lift the temporary injunction to shut down Units 3 and 4 of the Takahama Nuclear Power Plants, located in Takahama Town of Fukui Prefecture, which had been issued by the same court on March 9.

According to the Civil Provisional Remedies Act, which prescribes the procedures for the temporary injunction, there can be no further appeal against the decision related to the stay of execution. As for the future judgment of whether or not to allow the reactors to continue operating, Kansai EP is currently appealing for the annulment of the original March 9 decision, with the related hearings being simultaneously carried out at the same court. Judge Yamamoto presided over the temporary injunction in March, and is also in charge of the hearings related to Kansai EP’s objections. Those proceedings have already completed their initial hearings stage, with the first interrogation having taken place on May 10, and prospects are for a judgment to be reached by the district court shortly. Th...more
14 June, 2016

Fukushima Prefecture Presents Petition to Government Concerning Recovery and Restoration

On June 9, Fukushima Prefecture compiled a written petition aimed at the national government regarding recovery and restoration since the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants. Treating the five-year period starting in fiscal 2016 as "the moment of truth," it calls for sufficient sums to be earmarked in the national budget for measures related to the recovery from the disaster, including reactor decommissioning and water decontamination, as well as for rebuilding the lives of evacuees and dispelling false rumors, among other tasks.

The petition was personally presented on the same day to Vice Minister Yosuke Takagi of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) by the prefecture’s Governor Masao Uchibori. The ministry is responsible for many of the areas contained in the petition. Besides calling for nuclear safety, the report also outlines the so-called “Innovation Coast” vision pertaining to the restoration of the Hamadori region of the prefecture. The petition also calls upon the national government to lend an ear to the will of local municipalities as it promotes further decontamination efforts, as well as “putting forth more definite guidelines” relating to ideas about a revision of the geographical areas designated as “difficult for evacuees to return to,” which the government is supposed to put forwa...more

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Recent News

22 June, 2016
NRA Approves Extensions of Operating Periods to 60 Years for Takahama-1 and -2, the First for Aging Reactors
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