The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday approved operating life extensions of up to 20 years for two more reactors at Kansai Electric Power's Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.

The Takahama No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are the seventh and eighth to receive such approval in the country. They began operation in 1985 and will reach 40 years of operation in January and June 2025, respectively.

Kansai Electric applied for the extensions in April last year after conducting special inspections of the reactors. The NRA concluded at a regular meeting on Wednesday that the reactors met the standards for extended operation, as no problems were found in ultrasonic and visual inspections.

The Takahama No. 1 and No. 2 reactors, the No. 3 unit at Kansai Electric's Mihama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, Japan Atomic Power's Tokai No. 2 plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, and the No. 1 and No. 2 units at Kyushu Electric Power's Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture have been allowed to operate beyond 40 years.

The green transformation electricity law, enacted in May 2023, effectively allows nuclear reactors to operate beyond 60 years by not including periods of suspension for regulatory inspections.

The law requires reactors to be checked for deterioration and reviewed by the regulator every 10 years after turning 30 years old. Therefore, the Takahama No. 3 and No. 4 reactors need to be screened and approved again by the regulator before June 2025, when the law will be fully implemented.