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Fukui nuclear unit becomes Japan's 1st to operate beyond 40-yr limit

New lawsuit argues aging reactors are prone to failure from earthquakes

Kansai Electric Power Co. has resumed operating the No. 3 unit at the Mihama plant, seen here on Wednesday morning, for the first time in about 10 years.    © Kyodo

FUKUI, Japan (Kyodo) -- An aging nuclear reactor in central Japan's Fukui Prefecture was restarted Wednesday, becoming the country's first nuclear unit to operate beyond the government-mandated 40-year service period introduced under new rules set after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Kansai Electric Power Co. said it began operating the No. 3 unit at the Mihama plant for the first time in about 10 years, after completing final inspections. The reactor had stopped operations after the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

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