Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Nuclear Regulation Authority approved Wednesday an extension of 20 years in the operational life of Japan Atomic Power Co.’s aging Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.
The plant, which has a 1.1-million-kilowatt reactor, will reach its operational limit of 40 years on Nov. 27.
This was the first Japanese regulatory approval of an operational life extension for a boiling-water nuclear reactor, the same type as the reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which suffered triple meltdowns due to damage from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The Tokai plant, which lost external power sources in the 2011 disaster, was also the first recipient of such an extension among nuclear plants damaged by the disaster.
Before it brings the plant back online, Japan Atomic Power needs to win approval from the village of Tokai, the host of the plant, and five neighboring cities as well as the Ibaraki prefectural government.
Among the heads of the municipalities, Naka Mayor Toru Umino has expressed opposition to restarting the plant.
NRA Commissioner Shinsuke Yamanaka told an NRA meeting that the Tokai plant has not suffered deterioration in the quality of its equipment, even after the 2011 disaster, which mainly hit northeastern Japan.