Japanese utility eyes scrapping 2nd Fukushima nuclear plant


The utility liable for meltdowns at a nuclear energy plant in northeast Japan seven years in the past stated Thursday for the primary time publicly that it’s going to begin making concrete plans to decommission one other plant in Fukushima that narrowly escaped the disaster.

Tokyo Electrical Energy Firm Holdings stated it would determine on the timeline and different particulars earlier than formally saying the dismantling 4 reactors on the Fukushima Dai-ni, or No. 2, plant, which has by no means restarted because the 2011 catastrophe.

The Fukushima Dai-ichi, or No. 1, plant was closely broken in a March, 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. Three reactors had meltdowns and a fourth had injury to its constructing. Decommissioning of these reactors has began and the 2 others are set to be scrapped.

An extra decommissioning in Fukushima would imply all 10 of TEPCO’s reactors in Fukushima can be dismantled finally.

TEPCO has stated a Fukushima No. 2 decommissioning would value about 280 billion yen ($3.Three billion Cdn), along with the estimated 22 trillion yen ($259 billion Cdn) wanted for the continuing Fukushima No. 1 cleanup.

Fukushima officers and residents have demanded TEPCO decommission its remaining reactors, saying uncertainty has hampered reconstruction.

TEPCO president Tomoaki Kobayakawa, who met Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori on the governor’s workplace, introduced the plan following the governor’s renewed request to scrap Fukushima No. 2.

“We thought prolonging the anomaly would hamper native reconstruction,” Kobayakawa stated.

An anti-nuclear protester holds a placard depicting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe throughout a rally in entrance of the parliament constructing in Tokyo on March 11, 2017, which was the six-year anniversary of nation’s nuclear disaster. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

Uchibori welcomed the choice, saying TEPCO’s plan for Fukushima No. 2 decommissioning would assist alleviate damaging picture and security issues.

TEPCO had saved mum on its choice on Fukushima No. 2, which has been offline because the tsunami and its restart was regarded as a troublesome proposition due to native protests.

Solely a handful of reactors restarted

As well as, its 4 reactors are greater than 30 years previous and would have required TEPCO to make enormous investments to enhance security to get approvals for restarts.

TEPCO can be left with solely Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata, northern Japan, to supply nuclear energy. Native restart approvals for 2 of its seven reactors are pending.

When Fukushima No. 2 decommissioning turns into official, the variety of workable reactors in Japan would fall to 35, down from 54 earlier than the catastrophe.

Nuclear vitality now accounts for lower than 2 per cent of Japan’s vitality combine since most reactors have been idled after the 2011 catastrophe. Solely 5 reactors have since restarted.

Whereas the federal government of pro-business Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to start out up as many reactors as potential, restarts are coming slowly as anti-nuclear sentiment stays sturdy and regulators have stepped up screening course of.

Nonetheless, the federal government says nuclear vitality ought to account for 20-22 per cent of Japan’s vitality combine by fiscal 2030 in a draft vitality plan that specialists say as unrealistic.

Japanese utilities have been opting to scrap growing older reactors nearing their 40-year lifespan moderately than make the most of an exemption that may permit them to increase their operation for as much as 20 extra years. Assembly new security requirements put in place after the Fukushima catastrophe prices extra, making nuclear energy costlier than it was.




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