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I nostri lettori: in oltre 94 Nazioni - Our readers: in over 94 Nations - Nos lecteurs: dans plus de 94 Nations

ref:topbtw-3482.html/ 14 Ottobre 2022

Lunga vita al nucleare

Niente più pensionamento a 60 anni..

I reattori nucleari in esercizio fino a quando sono operativi in sicurezza. Oltre i 60 anni..

In Giappone avrebbero dovuto essere fermati circa 28 dei 33 impianti nucleari operativi.
Ma ormai tutto è cambiato..
Putin ha fatto comprendere l'importanza di una vera indipendenza energetica dal gas e dal petrolio importati per generare energia elettrica..
Ed il nucleare in confinamento di nuova generazione è la nuova via verso la libertà..
E' ora di seguirla..

Japan weighs scrapping 60-year life limit for nuclear reactors.

Under current rules, 28 of Japan's 33 nuclear reactors will stop operating by the end of the 2050s.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan moved to bolster nuclear energy safety, including by imposing a 60-year life span limit on reactors.

More than 10 years later, however, with energy prices soaring on Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the world moving away from fossil fuels, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is proposing ditching the cap altogether.

The move would allow reactors to extend their life span indefinitely as long as they are deemed safe by the nuclear watchdog.

A draft proposal by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry would drop the cap altogether, allowing reactors to extend their life span indefinitely as long as they are deemed safe by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The cap was introduced as the country tightened safety rules for nuclear reactors after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

But with energy prices rising and the world moving away from fossil fuels, nuclear reactors are receiving renewed attention as a way to ensure a stable supply of electricity with virtually no carbon emissions.

Under the plan, the economy ministry would decide whether to approve the extensions based on Japan's energy demand and progress on decarbonization.

Japanese law currently caps the life span of nuclear reactors at 40 years as a general rule, with an option for an extension of up to 20 years.

Utilities need to file for the extension with the Nuclear Regulation Authority, which took over the oversight of nuclear safety standards from the economy ministry following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The new proposal includes legal amendments that would allow the ministry's involvement in the approval process.

The final say will remain with the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Some in government are hesitant to scrap operating limits completely, given an agreement between the ruling coalition and the opposition after the 2011 accident that nuclear reactor oversight should be kept separate from a government push to promote nuclear power.

An alternative proposal would keep the 40- and 60-year limits, but stop counting the pause in the reactors' operations following the 2011 disaster toward this total.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in August instructed the government to consider extending the life span of existing reactors and approving the construction of new ones.

A final plan will be compiled by the government's green transformation council by the end of the year, with relevant legal amendments to be submitted to parliament in 2023.

There are currently 33 nuclear reactors in Japan. Four have hit the 40-year mark and have been approved for an extension.

Without a change to the current rules, 13 reactors will stop operating by the end of the 2040s, and another 15 by the end of the 2050s.

Concerns over safety remain. Older reactors face a higher risk of accidents caused by wear and tear, since nuclear particles degrade metal in pressure vessels and other components.

Concrete also deteriorates with age.

The extent of damage depends on the individual reactor, and some may require a fix after just a short amount of time.

The 60-year cap "does not make sense technologically, since reactors will not all reach their limit at the same time," former Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa has said.

"We need to evaluate the safety of each reactor."

Utilities are currently required to inspect nuclear reactors every 10 years and create a management plan once they hit the 30-year mark.

This is then incorporated into the utilities' safety guidelines and approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The body will consider stricter oversight of these management plans, such as by ordering updates when necessary.

Utilities that invested heavily into their reactors to meet stricter safety regulations following the 2011 accident would benefit from their continued operation.

But the idea faces strong opposition over safety concerns, and companies will need to be able to demonstrate that their older reactors are safe.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority will need to gain further screening capabilities as well.

"The older a reactor is, the harder it will be to prove it is safe," said Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shinsuke Yamanaka.

The U.S. and some countries in Europe do not set a hard limit on the life span of nuclear reactors, allowing them to operate as long as they pass safety screenings.

The U.K. and France are working to build new reactors as the war in Ukraine highlights the importance of energy security.

( Redazione - Nikkei )



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