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Japanese court allows 5 nuclear power plants to continue to operate

The Fukui District Court (central Japan) has allowed five ageing nuclear reactors to continue operations, after denying a request by a group of residents to halt one 780 MW reactor of the Mihama nuclear power plant and all four reactors (two 780 MW units and two 830 MW units) of the Takahama nuclear power plant over security concerns. These reactors started commercial operations between 1974 and 1985 and are all operated by Kansai Electric. In 2021, the Mihama-3 reactor was allowed to operate beyond the 40-year service period (service period extended to 60 years or more in 2023, if sufficient upgrades are made); Takahama-1 and 2 reactors have also been allowed to operate beyond this 40-year limit, while Takahama-3 and 4 will reach the threshold in 2025.

In addition, TEPCO has submitted a plan to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) to begin fuel loading in the idle reactor 7 (1,315 MW) at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant northwest of Tokyo as of 15 April 2024. Though no restart date has been released, this proposed fuel loading would pave the way for a resumption of operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa-7 reactor. The power plant has been offline since 2012 but the NRA lifted the operation ban on the plant in December 2023.

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