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Monday
Mar142016

Nuclear power in Japan post Fukushima 

When the Fukushima accident occurred on March 11, 2011, Japan had 50+ nuclear power reactors which provided about 30 per cent of the country’s electricity. The World Nuclear Association (WNA) noted that this was expected to increase to at least 40 per cent by 2017. The devastating accident changed all that. Japan shut down all its reactors.

As on December 2015, Japan has 43 operable reactors with potential to restart; twenty-three of them have started the process to restart approvals. The first two restarted in August 2015 (Sandai 1) and October 2015(Sandai 2).

While Japan observes the fifth anniversary of the nuclear accident, there is slow and steady progress in examining whether some more of the nuclear power plants which are presently shut down comply with the new nuclear safety standards.

The Nuclear Regulatory Authority effectively approved on February 24, Takahama-1 and two other nuclear power plants — both of which have already been operated for more than 40 years — as compatible with the new regulatory standards.

The Japan Atomic Industrial Forum reports that these are the first such determinations for so-called aging reactors. They have to clear examinations and to get approvals for extensions of their operating lifetimes, for which the mandatory deadlines are in July.

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