Kansai Electric Power Co's Mihama nuclear power plant in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture Photo: REUTERS file

Cabinet adopts policy of using nuclear reactors beyond 60 years


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That new policy is a big surprise...said no-one.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Building new reactors has become very expensive and many power companies cannot afford to construct them.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What could possibly go wrong?

4 ( +13 / -9 )


Get the local Onagawa plant back online.

I don't like paying through the nose for Russian gas to power the Shiogama thermo plant while the Onagawa plant is idle.


-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Well obviously nuclear energy is the future, and so long as there’s no nut job who wants to blow up a reactor, the yield will be very good

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Make sense, probably the average age of the diet. No need to be ageist against nuclear reactors, am I right/

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Cool. Anything go wrong dump it into the ocean. Problem solved.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Looks like it could be almost word for word the press release forwarded to Kyodo.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Keep playing with fire! Seems like they forgot about 3/11.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Asking for trouble.

Radiation degrades the materials it is made from and they are not exactly designed for ease of swapping out the parts. Basically the older they are the greater the probability of failure, therefor even with a frequent and transparent (how likely is that) inspection regime you are still playing Russian roulette.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Way to go. Just do it safe, with a sensible balance. The alternative is to go back to stone age, so to speak.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

While most of Japanese houses older than 20 years old are considered not safe and often demolished, temples, traditional houses and nuclear reactors from 60s are the core of Japanese culture and carefully preserved. I recommend to apply the reactors to become part of UNESCO’s World heritage listing.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Nuclear waste is the elephant in the room.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

despite Japan where has strong natural disaster risk such as strong quake or tsunami or volcano, LDP regime who strongly connects with nuclear industries try to rely on even superannuated nuclear plants what seismic resistance is lower than general quakeproof-designed residences for benefiting major power corporations.

As if Fukushima disaster was nothing, nuclear regulation agency was deprived independency again, nuclear policy of present Japan is full of optimism and opportunism as before March 2011.

Japan where regime ignored misstep will repeat nuclear disaster sooner or later.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Radioactive elements produce energy which degraded concrete and metal.

The older the reactor, the more stressed are the surrounding infrastructure of the plant.

What happens when pipes and valves leak dangerous radioactive pollution?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sure why not leave reactors running 60 years. I'd guess that makes the probability of another nuclear meltdown .9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999%. Nothing like building and keeping reactors running 60 years in the land of giant earthquake and tsunamis in the era where Russians attack nuclear reactors as a war liability.

Someone made too much money on the clean up of FUKuShima and bought off some politicians. WOW! Japan is becoming the USA. Absolutely nonsensical decisions.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

There are 2 main problems with reactors - 1) the radio-active waste which lasts a very long time 2) as I understand it - Japanese reactors are based on American reactors - which used enriched Uranium (U-235)...

This is sort of like soaking your BBQ coals in gasoline before you light the BBQ - once it's burning - it's burning...

The CanDU reactor - by contrast - uses natural uranium - which is about 2% U-235 and 98% U-238...

U-238 doesn't do anything...it's rock...

But...if you place the "natural uranium" in pellets in a geometric shape - and submerse them in deuterium - what happens is - a U-235 pings - plows into a U-238 - which then becomes a U-235 - and the reaction continues -

Of course you still get the same waste from the reactor...

However - if the structure of the reactor is threatened - you dump the deuterium - and guess what happens?...you're left with natural uranium as it's milled out of the ground - 2% U-235, 98% U-238...

Basically rock...sort of like "on-demand" enrichment if you like

Had Japan gone down that route - Fukushima wouldn't even be a discussion point

Yes - there's still the waste - plutonium - which is very chemically poisonous...

What can you do?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just last week under Technology here at JT it was reported that Takahama reactor 4 had shut down suddenly and they could not figure out why. And it had only just come back online last November. And at 37 years old, just as they were seeking permission to extend its working life beyond 40 years. If that was under Technology, why is today’s news National?

I don’t have a good feeling about this ‘beyond 60 years’ idea. Imagine flying in a 60-yr-old aircraft or driving a 60-yr-old car, and the amount of maintenance it would need, quite apart from cracks in the containment vessel walls from radiation stresses.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Neutron bombardment slowly destroys everything, even the metals. Great risks ahead, and if Japan lets it happen again, what then?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Who will forgive Japan for another meltdown and release of high-intensity radiation?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There must be strong, infallible proof that there is no danger in going up 70 or, 80 or, 90 years beyond the recommend 60 year life of nuclear reactors ! Can the Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Mishemura not only hope the central government will accept responsibility for the disposal of radio active waste created through nuclear power regeneration?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Once again the people have to pay while the business cronies and LDP cronies get all the cream!

Another reason why the Japanese public need to vote out the LDP!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ageing nuclear reactors voted for by ageing politicians, the Japanese get what they vote for.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Present LDP Kishida regime begun even preparation of the war on the excuse of "neighbouring countries' military threat", on the other hand, they strengthen to depend on nuclear plants what can become targets at wartime.

It's very contradiction.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good luck when Russia has the largest reserves of uranium. Out of the fire into the fry pan? Oh, Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The onagawa plant is an accident site. Make no mistake about that. They had to replace the whole top of one of the reactors and God knows what else. These plants will never be on time and they will never be under budget so they are a waste not to mention that there's no plan b. What will you do if they can start the reactors? You'll be in the cold, that's what. The government has declared that they cannot maintain a country without these nuclear plants, so it is very clear for any other country what to do in order to set Japan back to the Stone age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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