On May 17, the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP) announced that it had requested a review of its Mihama-3 (PWR, 826MW) by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the IAEA’s “SALTO” (Safety Aspects of Long-Term Operation) program in support of long-term operation of existing NPPs. In July 2021, Mihama-3 became the first domestic NPP to be operated more than forty years.
The SALTO program focuses on the long-term operation of NPPs. It comprises reviews of compliance with IAEA Safety Standards of organization and functions involved in long-term operation, as well as reviews of activities to manage the deterioration of facilities and equipment. It also provides recommendations and proposals for improvement in order to achieve compliance. Such reviews have been carried out in Europe, China, South Africa, Mexico, and elsewhere. This will be the first occasion in Japan.
Kansai EP requested the SALTO review from the IAEA via Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources & Energy (ANRE) in order to have the safety of long-term operation of Mihama-3 evaluated objectively and internationally. It will be carried out before the end of FY24 (i.e., by March 31, 2025) and, based on the results, a follow-up investigation will be planned during FY26 (April 2026 to March 2027). The power company will arrange a specific schedule with the IAEA.