30 November, 2015
Kansai EP Applies to Extend Mihama-3 Operation by 20 Years
On November 26, the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (Kansai EP) filed an application with Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for governmental permission to extend the lifetime of the Mihama-3 (PWR, 826MWe) from the current 40 years to 60 years.
On the same day, it also applied for governmental approval of a work plan in connection with the examination of the reactor’s compatibility with new regulatory standards. Kansai EP had originally filed an application on March 17 of this year for permission to change the reactor’s installation.
In order to extend the operational period—set at 40 years by the new Law for the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors (the Reactor Regulation Law)—the power company itself started a special inspection of the reactor vessel and other equipment at the plant in May, so as to confirm their soundness and evaluate measures already implemented for aging reactors. It then determined that there would be no problem with the 60-year operational period.
Mihama-3’s current 40-year operating lifetime will expire one year from now, on November 30, 2016. Before the unit can be restarted, its compatibility with the new regulatory standards must first be confirmed, after which it must undergo and finish an examination for permission to have its operational period extended.