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Japan to allow 60-year reactor lifespan despite Fukushima

Source:  Copyright 2012, Reuters
Date:  January 18, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Japan will allow nuclear reactors to operate for up to 60 years in revised regulations on power plant operators, the government said on Wednesday, even as it looks to shift gradually away from atomic power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

The decision marks the first time Japan has set a limit on a reactor's maximum lifespan and comes while it debates an energy strategy that is expected to give a greater role to renewables.

The government said it aims to introduce the 60-year limit a year from now as part of a revision of laws regulating nuclear plant operators after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled reactor cooling systems in the Fukushima Daiichi complex, triggering meltdowns and radiation leaks that led to mass evacuations and widespread contamination.

Public anxiety sparked by the disaster has prevented the restart of many reactors shut for routine checks, and only five of the nation's 54 reactors remain online, prompting ...

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