Unit 2 of the Kyushu Electric Power Company's Genkai Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in southwest Japan will be decommissioned in March 2021, the company announced Wednesday.
To expand the operating period of unit 2, which will reach the end of its operation period in March 2021, an application needs to be submitted before the deadline of March 31, 2020, according to the company's statement.
The company said it considered submitting this application to enable future use of the plant's existing facilities. However, the company conceded there was not enough land to construct additional safety facilities in order to meet new regulatory standards.
"The prospects for its output and remaining commercial operation period has led to the decision not to commence the approval procedure on the extension of the operating period for Genkai unit 2," the company said.
Genkai unit 2, which started operations in March 1981, generated about 120 billion kilowatt-hours of power.
Japan began shutting its 48 nuclear power plants after the magnitude-9 earthquake in east Japan and tsunami of March 2011 that damaged four reactors at the Fukushima plant.
Since then, Japan has reformed its safety rules to create a new regulatory body tasked with insuring that reactors that come back online comply with new safety restrictions gleaned from what has been learned from the disaster.
All reactors had remained offline since 2013 until August 2015, when the Sendai-1 reactor was restarted in the city of Satsumasendai, in the Kagoshima prefecture.
In 2018, Japan restarted five nuclear reactors, including unit 3 and 4 at the Ohi NPP; unit 3 and 4 at the Genkai NPP and Ikata-3 reactor, according to the U.S.' Energy Information Administration.
By Firdevs Yuksel