Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved on 20 June approved service life extensions of up to 20 years for of two aging reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co’s Takahama NPP in Fukui Prefecture. NRA concluded that units 1 and 2 now meet the stricter safety standards Japan introduced after the 2011 Fukushima accident. The approval will allow Kansai Electric to run the Takahama 1 and 2 until November 2034 and November 2035, respectively.

This is the first time for reactors in Japan have been approved to operate beyond 40 years, the basic lifetime stipulated in the nuclear reactor regulation law. Kansai Electric hopes to restart the units in October 2019. Currently Takahama units 3 and 4, which restarted early this year after receiving NRA approval, have been closed down as a result of a court injunction following legal action brought by local residents.