Kansai Electric Power Co. will suspend its plan to replace the No. 1 reactor at the Mihama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture with a new reactor on the premises, sources said April 22.
The No. 1 reactor has been in operation for more than 40 years. KEPCO will not revise its replacement policy, but it has decided that more time is needed to gain the understanding of local communities in Fukui Prefecture given the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Fukui Prefecture is in central Japan.
Makoto Yagi, president of KEPCO, will announce the decision at a press conference to be held April 27.
In June 2010, KEPCO announced plans to decommission the Mihama No. 1 reactor and replace it with a new reactor.
The utility company will now review the original plan, including the announcement of how long the No. 1 reactor will stay in operation.
Site studies for the construction of a replacement reactor have been suspended following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11 and the subsequent nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. Plutonium-thermal power generation was scheduled to start at the Takahama plant, also in Fukui Prefecture, before the end of the year, but is also likely to be postponed.
The local communities have hardened their attitude toward nuclear power, as has Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa, who said Japan should divest itself of its excessive dependence on it as a form of energy.
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