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Community near nuke plant adopts statement against extending 40-year reactor rule

TAKAHAMA, Fukui -- A residents' association in a neighboring district of the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant here adopted a statement on Dec. 18 opposing the extension of the 40-year maximum lifespan rule for nuclear reactors.

Kansai Electric Power Co. aims to restart the No. 1 and 2 reactors at the Takahama plant to operate them over 40 years after the Nuclear Regulation Authority gave the green light for a 20-year extension.

The Otomi district in Takahama, with a population of 136 people as of November, which has adopted the statement, is located in the Uchiura Peninsula facing Wakasa Bay. It is separated from the mainland part of Fukui Prefecture by the Takahama plant, which is built at the base of the peninsula.

In the statement, adopted based on its draft, the neighborhood association expressed concern that restarting the reactors could cause further depopulation, saying that it will accelerate community deterioration due to the growing negative image of nuclear power after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. It is an unusual move by a residents' association of a nuclear plant host municipality to approve a motion against the extension of reactor operation.

The association is set to submit the document to Kansai Electric, the Fukui Prefectural Government and the Takahama Municipal Government.

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