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IPFS News Link • Japan

Japan Adopts Plan to Make Maximum Use of Nuclear Power

•, Jiji Press

Amid an energy crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the basic plan for green transformation marks a departure from Japan's policy of reducing its dependence on nuclear energy, decided after the 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

The basic plan calls for building next-generation nuclear reactors to replace decommissioned ones within the premises of the nuclear plants, ending a freeze on any projects to add, expand or replace reactors.

Japan will also change a rule that limits the operating life of reactors basically to 40 years but tolerates an extension to up to 60 years upon regulatory approval. Under the plan, Japan will allow power companies to operate reactors beyond the 60-year limit by excluding periods when reactors are halted for safety inspections or other reasons.

The government drafted the plan late last year and solicited public comments for a month from Dec. 23. Many of the 3,303 comments received were critical of the nuclear policy shift, according to a senior official of the industry ministry.

But the government adopted the plan with almost no changes. Industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura stressed that the approval came after "more than 100 council meetings as well as discussions in the ruling parties."

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