Tokyo Electric officials wearing protective suits inspect an underground water storage pool at Fukushima in 2013.
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Japan's re-embrace of nuclear power, on display last week with the recertification of two ageing reactors, is prompting some critics to warn that Tokyo is neglecting the lessons of Fukushima. In the first such step since the 2011 disaster, Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority on June 20 approved Kansai Electric Power Co.'s application to extend the life of two reactors beyond 40 years.According to the World Nuclear Association, an industry body, early reactors were designed for a life of about 30 years, while newer plants can operate up to 60 years.A 2012 Japanese law also limits the life of all reactors to 40 years, allowing for license extensions only in exceptional circumstances.After Fukushima, Japan revamped its regulator and tasked it with implementing new standards that the NRA chairman has repeatedly said are among the world's toughest.
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