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Aging Fukushima Daini reactor can be safely offline for 10 more yrs

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 10:00am
The Associated Press

TOKYO, Jan. 22 (Kyodo) — The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday confirmed that one of the aging reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daini plant can remain offline safely for another 10 years, after assessing the deterioration level of related equipment and the impact of the March 2011 natural disasters.

The Fukushima Daini plant is located about 12 kilometers south of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which saw three of its reactors suffer meltdowns due to the loss of their cooling functions following a huge earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The Nos. 1, 2, 4 reactors at the Daini plant also lost their cooling functions temporarily, but achieved a stable state of cold shutdown. TEPCO filed for the NRA's assessment of the No. 2 reactor because it first started operating in February 1984.

In Japan, utilities are required to check the deterioration level of reactors before their operation period exceeds 30 years and seek the NRA's approval.

The assessment on the No. 2 reactor was carried out on the assumption that it will remain in a state of cold shutdown. The reactor will have to undergo a different safety assessment process if it is to resume operation.

All of the nuclear reactors in Japan are offline amid safety concerns in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. In order to be allowed to resume operation, reactors must first satisfy a set of new safety requirements introduced in July.

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