The Japanese government will extend the operation of existing nuclear power reactors and replace aging facilities with new advanced ones. a roadmap for the next ten years was compiled as a “basic policy for the realisation of GX (Green Transformation).
Before March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan’s 54 reactors provided around 30% of Japan’s electricity. Ten of Japan’s 39 operable reactors have cleared inspections and resumed operation. Another 17 reactors have applied to restart. In 2021, nuclear energy is 7.2% the electricity.
Regulations from 2013 gave Japanese reactors an operating period of 40 years. Extensions may be granted once only and are limited to a maximum of 20 years, contingent on exacting safety requirements.
On 21 December, new rules allow the reactors to be operated for more than the current limit of 60 years. The new policy will effectively extend the period reactors can remain in operation beyond 60 years by excluding the time they spent offline for inspections from the total service life.
Under the new policy, Japan will also develop and construct “next-generation innovative reactors” to replace about 20 reactors that are set to be decommissioned.
In September, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched the SRZ-1200 advanced pressurised water reactor design.
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