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6 August, 2015

NRA Approves Operation of Sendai-1 Beyond 30 Years

On August 5, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved revisions to the operational safety program at the Sendai-1 Nuclear Power Plant (PWR, 890MWe), owned and operated by the Kyushu Electric Power Co., submitted in connection with operation of the unit beyond 30 years, for which the company had applied. Although this approval is not a condition for restarting the unit in the present circumstances, its timing is in line with the restart expected on and after August 10.

Sendai NPPs

The Sendai-1 entered its 31st year of commercial service in July and, under the Reactor Regulation Law, any NPP in operation for more than 30 years is required to renew its long-term policy on maintenance and management for the next ten years.

The Reactor Regulation Law, however, provides that an operator may operate upon acceptance by the NRA of an application for revisions to it operational safety program, which includes a long-term policy on maintenance and management, while not requiring the approval itself. Kyushu Electric Power submitted an application in December 2013. Approval had been delayed due to corrections, etc.

As for the revisions to the operational safety program at Sendai-1 specifically involving its compatibility with the new regulatory standards, those were approved in May 2015.

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