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Japan Atomic Power to get 350 bil. yen to reboot plant

This file photo taken in July 2018 shows Japan Atomic Power Co.'s Tokai No. 2 Power Station, right, in the village of Tokai in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo. To the left is Tokai Power Station, where decommissioning work is underway. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan Atomic Power Co. is likely to receive about 350 billion yen ($3.2 billion) in funding from five major utility firms to help it resume operations at a nuclear plant northeast of Tokyo, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. and Tohoku Electric Power Co. will provide 80 percent of the funds while the three other power companies -- Chubu Electric Power Co., Hokuriku Electric Power Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co. -- will bear the rest of the cost, the sources said.

    Japan Atomic Power, a wholesaler of electricity generated at its nuclear plants, is planning to reboot the idle Tokai No. 2 Power Station in Ibaraki Prefecture. The unit has cleared a safety screening by government regulators and won approval for extending operations beyond the preliminary 40-year limit.

    Nuclear reactors are allowed to run for 40 years in Japan, but can be approved for an additional 20-year period under certain conditions.

    Japan Atomic Power intends to use the funds for required construction to ensure the safety of the aging reactor, though the prospects of resuming operations at the plant remain unclear, as efforts to obtain approval from local governments have shown little progress.

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