Japan Govt Panel OKs Extension of N-Reactor Operating Life

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 28 (Jiji Press)--A subcommittee of a Japanese government advisory panel broadly approved an industry ministry plan Monday to extend the operating life of nuclear power reactors beyond the current 60-year limit, by not counting suspension periods in the total time.

The nuclear power subcommittee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy also broadly approved another industry ministry plan to build next-generation nuclear reactors as replacements for existing reactors set to be decommissioned.

The government is expected to finalize the two plans this year.

After the March 2011 triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, the country set the maximum reactor operating period at 40 years in principle. The period can be extended only once, for up to 20 years, if approved by regulators.

The ministry sees a need to operate nuclear reactors beyond the limit to ensure stable power supply and promote carbon reductions. The change would mark a major shift in the country's nuclear energy policy set after the Fukushima accident.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press