(Nikkei: December 9, 2015 – p. 5)
Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) is seeking to extend the service life of the No. 1 and 2 reactors at its Takahama Nuclear Power Plant (Fukui Prefecture) [by 20 years], which would bring the reactors’ service life to the maximum of 60 years. On Dec. 8, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) held a safety screening meeting regarding the two reactors and approved KEPCO’s basic policy on fire prevention measures for power cables, which was the focus of the discussion. The NRA will move forward with the screening with an eye to passing the reactors, putting the extension of the operation of the Takahama reactors within range.
The No. 1 and 2 reactors at the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant went online in the 1970s. They have an outdated design and use power cables that contain flammable materials. The length of the cables is estimated to be a few hundred kilometers, and fire prevention measures were seen as a problem.
KEPCO explained its plan to wrap the cables in fireproof material and switch to fire-resistant materials in the processing room where there are many cables. The NRA raised no major objections to the plan.
With the tightening of regulations following the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the service life of nuclear power plants was limited to 40 years in principle; however, it can be extended to up to 60 years if NRA approval is obtained.