Japan set to close five nuclear reactors

16 March 2015 (Last Updated March 16th, 2015 18:30)

Japan is planning to shut down five of its old nuclear reactors amidst concerns of vulnerability.

Takahama NPP

Japan is planning to shut down five of its old nuclear reactors amidst concerns of vulnerability.

Operators at three of the five nuclear power-generating units cited high cost for upgrades to be the cause behind the decommissioning.

Local media suggests the closure of a further two facilities, reports Reuters.

Japan had taken all 48 of its nuclear power units offline after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Under the current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s rule, the country intends to revive its nuclear power sector. However, strict safety standards need to be followed for the upgrades as well.

"Japan had taken all 48 of its nuclear power units offline after the 2011 Fukushima disaster."

The initiatives for the shutdowns follow a government request which asked to cease operations at the old nuclear units since they are more vulnerable to disasters.

The news agency had conducted an analysis in 2014 according to which, nearly two-third of Japan’s nuclear units will not be re-commissioned owing to increased expenses, local protests, and possible seismic risks.

Mihama No. 1 and No. 2 units, owned by Kansai Electric Power and the Japan Atomic Power’s Tsuruga No. 1 reactors, are the three confirmed units to be decommissioned.

The remaining two reactors, which are reported to be scrapped, are owned by Kyushu Electric Power and Chugoku Electric Power.

After initiation of nuclear restart efforts, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in the country has approved security checks for four reactors, which include Kyushu Electric’s two-reactor Sendai plant and Kansai Electric’s No. 3 and No. 4 Takahama reactors.


Image: Takahama nuclear power station. Photo: courtesy of Hirorinmasa / Wikipedia.