Thursday, February 2, 2023

Japan reverses course, re-prioritises nuclear power

TOKYO ( Associated Press) – Japan adopted a new strategy Thursday that encourages greater use of nuclear power to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions while ensuring a steady supply of electricity amid global fuel shortages. This policy is a major change from his plan to phase out nuclear power since the Fukushima crisis.

Under the new strategy, Japan should maximize the use of its current nuclear reactors, which means restarting as many as possible and extending the operating life of older reactors beyond their 60-year limit, as well as replacing them with Development of next generation reactors.

Anti-nuclear sentiment and safety concerns increased in Japan following the Fukushima disaster in 2011, and reactivation authorizations have since been issued slowly and under strict safety regulations. Power companies have asked to restart 27 reactors in the past decade. Of these, 17 have passed the security control and only 10 have started again. This trend was in line with Japan’s earlier plan to give up nuclear power by 2030.

Instead, the new rule states that nuclear power provides stable production and “plays an important role as a carbon dioxide-free energy source to achieve supply stability and carbon neutrality” and “sustained use of nuclear power in the future”. promises to do.

The Ministry of Economy and Industry has drafted a bill that would allow the extension of the useful life of reactors every 10 years after they last 30 years, in addition to allowing power companies to deduct the period of inactivity when calculating life. of reactors beyond the current limit of 60 years.

The plan, approved by Japan’s nuclear watchdog Nuclear Regulatory Authority on Wednesday, paved the way for approval of the new strategy. The new safety inspection standards would still need to be included in a bill and passed through parliament.

Most of Japan’s nuclear reactors are over 30 years old. Four reactors have been authorized to operate and one is operational, operating for more than 40 years.

Nation World News Desk
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