Japan's nuclear regulator has approved plans submitted by operators of 4 power plants to decommission 5 aging nuclear reactors. The reactors are to be scrapped in a process lasting up to nearly 30 years.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority approved the plans at a meeting on Wednesday.
Under a government policy introduced after the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, reactor lifespan was limited to 40 years in principle.
In 2015, utility companies decided to dismantle the 5 reactors. The 5 include 2 reactors at the Mihama plant and one at the Tsuruga plant, both in Fukui Prefecture, one at the Shimane plant in Shimane Prefecture and one at the Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture.
The plans call for first decontaminating pipes and dismantling facilities that are free of radioactive contamination.
The operators assume that the reactors and their buildings will be taken down and removed by fiscal 2045 at the latest.
At issue is where to put control rods, reactor parts and other radioactive waste. No site for a final disposal facility has been designated.
The regulator is checking another decommissioning plan for a reactor at the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture. The facility's operator decided last year to dismantle it.