Japan’s NRA delays decommissioning approval for five reactors

3 April 2017

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has delayed approval of decommissioning plans for five nuclear reactors because of a “lack of clarity” in some sections of a report drawn up by the regulator’s own secretariat, industry group the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) said on 30 March 2017. The decommissioning work includes tasks such as removing fuel from used nuclear fuel pools and dismantling main reactor units and peripheral equipment. The decision affects units 1 and 2 Kansai Electric Power Co’s Mihama NPP, unit 1 at Japan Atomic Power Company's Tsuruga NPP, unit 1 at Kyushu Electric Power Company's Chugoku Electric Power Company's Shimane NPP and unit 1 at Genkai NPP. Decisions to decommission the units were taken in March 2015 for reasons of “economic inefficiency”, Jaif said. All five units have been in commercial operation for more than 40 years. The decisions to permanently shut down and decommission all five units were made in response to the 40-year limit on reactor operation imposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority after the March 2011 accident at Fukushima-Daiichi. Jaif also said the NRA is evaluating a plan by Shikoku Electric Power Company to decommission unit 1 at Ikata NPP. The power company decided in March 2015 to permanently shut down the reactor.

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