Japanese regulator approves full reactor licences

20 November 2015

Three Japanese reactors have approval to operate for their full licence periods of 40 years after decisions by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). One of the units - Sendai 2 - is already in operation, the other two - Takahama 3 and 4 - are soon to restart.

Under Japanese regulations nuclear power plant operators receive a licence that lasts for 40 years, subject to a review at 30 years in which the NRA checks the operator's maintenance plan for the unit. Success at this 30-year check was announced on 18 November by Kansai Electric Power Company's Takahama 3 and 4 as well as Kyushu Electric Power Company's Sendai 2.

Sendai - 460 (JAIF)
Sendai nuclear power plant (Image: JAIF)

Sendai 2 was the second unit to restart under the new regulations, reconnecting to the grid and supplying electricity from 21 October. It is now licensed to operate until 2025.

Takahama 3 and 4 are likely to be the next units to restart, in December and early 2016 respectively. They are also now expected to operate until 2025.

Japanese units can also apply to the NRA for a licence for operation up to the age of 60 years but none have yet done so.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News