Japan Scraps 5 Old Nuclear Reactors

Japan Scraps 5  Old Nuclear ReactorsJapan Scraps 5  Old Nuclear Reactors

Japan is to decommission three nuclear reactors, which have outlived the government’s recommended 40-year service life. It will also be the first time a reactor is permanently shut down since the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

The three reactors are in the Fukui Province on Japan’s west coast, where the Mihama No.1 and No.2 reactors and the Tsuruga No.1 reactor are set to go offline permanently. Local media reports in Japan say another two reactors are also likely to be scrapped, RT reported.

The decision was made to shut the reactors due to high upgrade costs. Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, tough regulations were introduced to prevent any repeats, which would mean reactors must be shut down after 40 years. However, their service life could be extended for a further 20 years, if they underwent stringent Nuclear Regulation Authority tests.

The five reactors in question are among the oldest in Japan and are between 39 to 44 years old. They are deemed inefficient as they generate relatively low amount of power. With a capacity of only 559 megawatts each, it wasn’t economical to upgrade the reactors to give them another 20 years, according to reports.

Following the Fukushima disaster, all Japan’s 48 nuclear reactors were taken offline. An Analysis by Reuters in 2014 stated that as many as two thirds of these facilities may never produce power again because of prohibitively high upgrade costs, local opposition and seismic risks. The Fukushima plant suffered a meltdown following a tsunami triggered by an earthquake in the Pacific Ocean.

Japan wants to restart its nuclear program in the summer, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looking to bring some of the country’s reactors back online. They say this is a necessary step to promote economic growth.