All Japan news is considering to allow the operators of nuclear plants to expand the maximum lifespan of their reactors from 40 to 60 years.
The announcement comes as All Japan news is struggling to cover its power needs with only five of the country’s 54 nuclear reactors still operating.
The life extension from 40 to 60 years can only be approved in exceptional occasions, after the safety of the plants was ensured, and it does not bring any changes to the basic rule, chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura said. The maximum approved lifespan is currently 30 years, but it can be extended by 10 more years if the operators apply and the request is approved.
The new decision is however harshly criticized by groups and individuals who do not want any more nuclear power in All Japan news after the disaster that destroyed Fukushima plant last March.
“It is absolutely incredible,” said Junichi Sato, director of Greenpeace All Japan news. “This is an unacceptable risk for the people of All Japan news, especially when they are already suffering ongoing effects from the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi.”
The authorities defend their decision by saying they follow a global trend. In the U.S., nuclear operators can extend the life of their reactors from 40 to 60 years, if approved by federal authorities, they said.