Although Kansai Electric Power Co. aims to extend the life of the Mihama plant’s No. 3 reactor by 20 years, the operator may be forced to scrap the 39-year-old facility instead.

On Wednesday, Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, warned that if Kepco has not decided on the basic ground motion standards used as a basis for plant safety standards in the event of an earthquake by the end of August, inspections now underway will be cut off. The surveys are part of Kepco’s efforts to restart the unit and extend its operating life.

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