Japan plans to limit reactor lifetime to 40 years

17 January 2012

Japan is working on a law to limit the ‘standard’ life of a reactor to 40 years as well as revising other legislation related to nuclear safety, according to the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF).

Japan’s minister for nuclear accidents, Goshi Hosono, has announced that the government is revising laws for the regulation of nuclear source material, nuclear fuel and reactor regulation, among others, according to reports from JAIF.

Revisions to the reactor regulation law will require severe-accident measures, which have to date been voluntary efforts by nuclear operators. Nuclear plants will need to ensure the availability of multiple, diverse power sources, systems to prevent water from entering the insides of facilities, and improve venting systems in primary containment vessels.

Back fit measures will also be newly mandated and nuclear power plants will have to comply with seismic safety standards.

The new law would essentially limit the life of a reactor to 40 years, but extensions may be granted in exceptional circumstances. This would be the first time that Japan has set a standard operating period for its nuclear power plants, JAIF said.

The government aims to submit the planned legislation to parliament in January 2012, according to Reuters.



FilesReactor-by-reactor Fukushima Daiichi restoration progress summary as of 12 January, from JAIF



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