6 February, 2015
Decision on Decommissioning Mihama-1 & -2 to Come Before April 2015
On February 2, Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP) formulated a course of action for its nuclear power plants and reported it to officials of Fukui Prefecture, where the plants are located. Among them are the Units 1 and 2 at the Mihama Nuclear Power Station, which have been operating for more than 40 years.
Kansai EP said it would consider measures necessary to meet the new regulatory standards and decide sometime before the end of the fiscal year (i.e., by March 31, 2015) whether or not to extend the units’ service periods. Mihama-1 is a 340 MW-class PWR and Mihama-2 is a 500 MW-class PWR.
Regarding Takahama-1 & -2 (PWRs, 826 MW each), which have been operating for 40 and 39 years, respectively, and for which legally required special inspections to extend their service periods have been underway since December 2014, Kansai EP said it would file applications for permission to change a reactor installation before the end of the fiscal year, or by March 31, 2015.
The power company also plans to file a similar application for Mihama-3 (PWR, 826 MW), so far operating for 38 years, and is also preparing applications for its Ohi-1 & -2 (PWRs, 1175 MW each), both now operating for 35 years.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has been examining four units — Takahama-3 & -4 (PWRs, 870 MW each) and Ohi-3 & -4 (PWRs, 1180 MW each) — for compatibility with the new regulatory standards.
Because Mihama-1 & -2 and Takahama-1 & -2 have all been operating for 40 years or more, Kansai EP will have to file applications with the NRA between April and July this year if it wishes to extend their service periods. If so, special inspections will be required.