April 23, according to Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun news, Japan’s Fukui Prefecture Council on the 23rd adopted a written opinion, decided to agree to Kansai Electric Power Company Meibin Nuclear Power Plant No. 3, Kansai Electric Power Company Gaobin Nuclear Power Plant 1 and 2 aircraft re-opened. These plant units have been in operation for more than 40 years. This is the first time in Japan to restart three nuclear power plant units that have been running for more than 40 years.
Unit 3 of the Meibin Nuclear Power Plant began operation in December 1976, when a cooling pipe rupture occurred in 2004, resulting in the death of five operators. In order to extend its operating period, Kansai Electric Power Company applied to the Regulatory Commission in March 2015 for review according to the new standards, and in April of the same year scrapped Units 1 and 2, which had been in operation for more than 40 years and had a smaller output of electricity. The two units at the Takahama nuclear power plant were shut down after the 2011 Fukushima accident. In June 2016, Gaobin Units 1 and 2 passed the extension review.
Under the Nuclear Reactors and Other Regulations Act, as amended after the Fukushima accident, the operating period of nuclear power plants is in principle capped at 40 years, but can be extended by up to 20 years with the approval of the Regulatory Commission.