by Christina MacPherson
THREE YEARS AFTER: Majority of Japan’s nuclear reactors face bleak future THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 12 Mar 13 Due to stricter government safety regulations, 30 of Japan’s idled 48 nuclear reactors have no immediate prospects of restarting operations, at least in the near future, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey of utilities.Thirteen of those, mainly due to their age, are having particular difficulty in complying with the new standards, according to the survey, and are likely to be decommissioned……..
The new restrictions ban electric power companies from locating reactor facilities directly on top of active fault lines. The state also revised the Law on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors to limit, in principle, the operational life of reactors to 40 years.
“No matter how much money and time we spend, it would be impossible (for some reactors to clear certain hurdles),” said an official with an electric power company, referring to the two requirements.
The two restrictions are the main obstacles the utilities face in their efforts to restart idle reactors. The 13 likely to be decommissioned are the Tokai No. 2 plant in Ibaraki Prefecture; the three reactors at the Mihama plant in Fukui Prefecture; the two reactors each at the Oi, Takahama and Tsuruga plants, all in Fukui Prefecture; the No. 1 reactor at the Shimane plant; the No. 1 reactor at the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture; and the No. 1 reactor of the Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture.
Of these reactors, the Tsuruga plant’s No. 1 reactor and the Mihama plant’s No. 1 and No. 2 reactors have exceeded the 40-year limit.
The Shimane plant’s No. 1 reactor will mark its 40th anniversary of operation at the end of this month, while the Takahama plant’s No. 1 reactor will pass the four decade mark in November. Furthermore, an investigation by the Nuclear Regulation Authority has concluded that there is an active fault line beneath the Tsuruga plant’s No. 2 reactor building. A slip of an active fault directly under a reactor is highly likely to lead to its destruction.
. [link to ajw.asahi.com]
[link to nuclear-news.net]