Summary Box: Japan's Nuclear Plants May Run Longer

Published January 18, 2012 11:00PM (EST)

BEYOND THE CAP: Japan's planned 40-year cap on nuclear power plants could be extended up to 20 years, but exemptions will be rare, the government said Wednesday.

NUCLEAR SAFETY: The proposed legislation requiring plants to shutter after 40 years is part of the government's campaign to improve safety following the nuclear crisis set off by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

CONTEXT: Concern about aging reactors has grown because three of those at the plant hit by the tsunami were built starting in the late 1960s. Many more of Japan's 54 reactors will reach the 40-year mark in coming years.

By Salon Staff

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