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Ikata reactor to be decommissioned via NHK World

Shikoku Electric Power Company has decided to decommission an aging nuclear reactor at its Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, citing huge maintenance costs.

The company made the decision at a meeting of its executive board on Friday.

The No.1 reactor at the Ikata plant began operation in 1977. It has been idle since September of 2011, when it was shut down for a regular inspection after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

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Nuclear reactors can operate for 40 years in principle under government regulations. Extensions of up to 20 years are allowed only when a reactor clears special inspections, which would mean additional expenses for utilities.

In view of such circumstances, Shikoku Electric decided to decommission the No.1 reactor, which will turn 40 years old next year.

The reactor will be the 6th in Japan to be decommissioned due to aging.

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