Reported moves by power companies to consider decommissioning their older nuclear power reactors indicate that they are beginning to selectively evaluate their nuclear power plants by weighing the costs of meeting safety criteria that has been tightened in the wake of the 2011 disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The government appears ready to facilitate such moves in the hope that terminating the old and more risky nuclear reactors will, in turn, help win public support for reactivating idled reactors that clear safety screening by the nuclear watchdog — the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA).

Both the power industry and the government need to take a realistic view of the prospect of nuclear power in this country — where currently all of its 48 nuclear power reactors are idled amid safety concerns following the 2011 disaster.