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Kansai Electric decides to scrap 2 reactors in central Japan

Staff Writer |
Kansai Electric Power decided to decommission two aging reactors at its Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan.

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The 1,175 megawatt reactors, which are approaching 40 years in age, are among the first of their size and capacity to be scrapped, with the company deciding that the cost to upgrade them to meet new safety standards would be untenable.

Under stricter safety regulations in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, reactors are not allowed to operate for more than 40 years, although, if upgrades meet Japan's nuclear watchdog's requirements, they may be allowed to operate for an additional 20 years.

It would reportedly cost the utility around 100 billion yen ($882 million) to upgrade the aged reactors, which would add to the 830 billion yen ($7.32 billion) Kansai Electric is already forking out to bring seven of its 11 reactors back online and in line with new stringent safety requirements.

The scrapping of the two reactors, as many of the nation's reactors remain idled in the wake of the Fukushima disaster pending safety checks, may come as a blow to the Japanese government, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set out plans targeting 20 to 22 percent of total electricity production coming from nuclear power in fiscal 2030.

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