Japan regulator approves 20-year extension of 2 Takahama nuclear reactors

Japan's nuclear regulator has approved a request by Kansai Electric Power Company to extend by 20 years the operation of two aging reactors at its Takahama plant in central Japan.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority made the decision on the application by the company at a meeting on Wednesday.

The operational life span of nuclear reactors in Japan has been limited to 40 years in principle. But their operation could be extended by up to 20 years.

The No.3 and No.4 reactors at the Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture will reach the 40-year limit next year.

At the meeting, the secretariat of the NRA reported that special checks have been conducted properly on whether the reactors and other key equipment have deteriorated. The officials said the reactors meet the standards to allow the extension.

There was no objection to the report among the NRA commissioners. They unanimously approved the extension.

With the latest move, eight reactors in Japan have been allowed to operate beyond the 40-year limit.