Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power Company said Wednesday that special inspections had verified the integrity of Sendai Nuclear Power Stations Units 1’s core components, the inspections prerequisites for license extensions.
“In order to apply for approval to extend the operation life span of nuclear power stations beyond 40 years, a special inspection is required by the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Act,” the company explained. “For Sendai Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 and 2 these inspections started on October 12, 2021 and February 21, 2022, respectively,” the company said.
Kyushu also conducted an evaluation to assess age deterioration and the plant. With the results of both examinations in hand, the company formulated a maintenance plan and concluded the two 890 MWe pressurized reactors would be safe for another 20 years of service. “Therefore, today we submitted to the NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority) applications for approval to extend the operation life span … and to make changes in technical specifications … on the assumption of extended operation.”
Sendai 1 and 2 will reach their current 40-year operation limits in July 2024 and November 2025. According to the World Nuclear Association, reactors in Japan are permitted only one 20-year extension on their operating licenses.
Nuclear power in Japan currently produces 7.2 percent of the country’s electricity, a drastic slide from the 39 percent produced by domestic nuclear power prior to the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
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