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New nuclear body chief keen for reactors not to operate after 40 yrs


New nuclear body chief keen for reactors not to operate after 40 yrsThe government's candidate to head Japan's new nuclear regulatory authority said Wednesday he is committed to upholding a government policy to basically limit the operation of nuclear reactors to 40 years.

"This system is needed to ensure the safety of old power plants," Shunichi Tanaka, former vice chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, said at a parliamentary session. "We should strictly check nuclear reactors and take the stance of not allowing those beyond 40 years to operate."

Tanaka was being questioned by lower house lawmakers who together with their colleagues in the upper house will vote early this month on whether to approve his appointment.

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