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Global nuclear market affected by France’s safety problems: many French reactors offline

plants-downFrance’s Nuclear Storm: Many Power Plants Down Due to Quality Concerns, Power, 11/01/2016 | Lee Buchsbaum  The discovery of widespread carbon segregation problems in critical nuclear plant components has crippled the French power industry—20 of the country’s 58 reactors are currently offline and under heavy scrutiny. France’s nuclear safety chairman said more anomalies “will likely be found,” as the extent of the contagion is still being uncovered.With over half of France’s 58 reactors possibly affected by “carbon segregation,” the nation’s nuclear watchdog, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) has ordered that preventative measures be taken immediately to ensure public safety. As this story goes into production in late October, ASN has confirmed that 20 reactors are currently offline and potentially more will shut down in coming weeks.

The massive outages are draining power from all over Europe. Worse, new questions continue to swirl about both the safety and integrity of Électricité de France SA’s (EDF’s) nuclear fleet, as well as the quality of some French- and Japanese-made components that EDF is using in various high-profile nuclear projects around the world……….

Questionable Materials and Documentation

At the heart of France’s nuclear crisis are two problems. One concerns the carbon content of critical steel parts, steam heat exchangers, and other components manufactured or supplied by AREVA SA, the French state-owned nuclear engineering firm and global producer of nuclear reactors. The second problem concerns forged, falsified, or incomplete quality control reports about the critical components themselves. Continue reading

November 2, 2016 Posted by | France, safety | 2 Comments

France’s nuclear reactor unsafety raises same problem for Japan


プレスリリース – 2016-10-25  Tokyo – The safety and regulation of the Japanese nuclear fleet is called into serious question by the discovery of Japanese-manufactured flawed steel components installed in operating French nuclear reactors forced to shut down last week by the French nuclear safety regulator ASN, according to a new Greenpeace report. The threat to nuclear reactor safety in Japan is due to the supply of steel components to the nuclear industry from both Japan Casting and Forging Company (JCFC) and the Japan Steel Works (JSW), according to the technical report ( released today by Greenpeace Japan, by the nuclear engineering consultancy, Large&Associates of London. Evidence of astonishingly high levels of excess carbon far outside regulatory limits with the associated loss of steel toughness and significant increase in the risk of catastrophic failure of primary containment components, have been discovered in JCFC-manufactured components installed in steam generators in 12 reactors owned by the French state-utility, EdF. The independent French nuclear agency, IRSN, recently warned that due to the excess carbon content, there was an increased risk of failure of the affected steam generator leading to a potential reactor core meltdown

These components are so fundamental to reactor safety, and consequences so potentially severe, that in every country with nuclear reactors across the planet, nuclear regulators require that these components must not have any possibility of failure under any operating circumstance over the lifetime of the reactor – so-called “break-preclusion” for the reactor safety case. For this reason the French regulator warned its worldwide counterparts, including the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in Japan, of the potential enormity of the situation should their nuclear power plants have similarly flawed components installed.

During the period 1994-2006, JCFC supplied flawed components to France, which somehow managed to pass through the quality assurance controls of JCFC, the supplier Areva, and the French regulator to be installed in operating reactors. How the defects were not detected along the supply chain has not yet been disclosed. A commissioner from the NRA is visiting France this week to discuss the crisis.

From 1984-1993, JCFC also supplied steam generator components to the following Japanese reactors: Takahama 3&4, Sendai 2, Tomari 1&2 and Tsuruga 2; JCFC steam generator and reactor pressure vessel components are installed in a total of 14 Japanese reactors (not including two reactors at Fukushima Daiini).

“As a result of substandard manufacturing in Japan, citizens in France have been unknowingly exposed to the risk of catastrophic failure of critical reactor components which could result in a reactor core meltdown. Japanese-supplied steel is now at the center of France’s unprecedented nuclear crisis the scale of which has never been seen in any country. All 12 reactors supplied by JCFC are either in forced shutdown or about to be. It lacks all credibility that the Japanese nuclear industry would claim that there are no implications for the safety of their own nuclear reactors. The steel production records released in France did not reveal the scale of excess carbon, which was only found after physical testing. There are currently no plans for such tests in Japan. That is wholly unacceptable. There are many urgent questions that need to be answered by the industry and the NRA, and with full public disclosure and transparency,” said Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany.

The French nuclear safety regulator has been investigating components supplied by both JCFC and the Japan Steel Works (JSW). Test results obtained by Greenpeace in June 2016 indicated that there was a possibility of excess carbon problem in JSW-manufactured components in the steam generator boiler pods – there are 3 or 4 steam generators in each pressurized water reactor PWR nuclear power plant, each weighs upwards of 300 to 400 tonnes and, typically, the cost of replacement is around US$130 to 150 million.

Since the French publication of the JCFC and JSW component test results, it has been claimed that JSW components are free of excess carbon. However, no tests results proving this have been disclosed and Large&Associates research raises questions over the credibility of this claim. The non destructive testing that has been conducted in France is incapable of identifying the scale of excess carbon. Large&Associatess recommends destructive testing .

The Japanese utilities are required to submit documentation to the NRA by 31 October 2016 detailing the quality of the steel components supplied by Japanese companies, JCFC, JSW and the other steel supplier, JFE. This is however only a paper exercise and not the result of actual physical testing of components installed in reactors.

Greenpeace has today sent a copy of the Large&Associates report to the NRA. A series of urgent questions will be submitted, via a member of the Japanese Diet, to the NRA in the coming days.

Priority reactors to be assessed and tested in Japan due to their status: operating, possibility of early operation or approval by the NRA for restart are: Ikata 3, Sendai 2, Takahama 2, Takahama 3&4 (under appeal by Kansai Electric); and next in line for approval by NRA – Genkai 3&4 and  Kashiwazaki-kariwa 6&7.

(1)  The Japanese supplied components under investigation in France are designated Class 1, by which they are not permitted under any circumstances to fail during operation due to the potentially severe consequences. Specifically the components are Steam Generator tube support plates, elliptical domes, and bottom channel heads; as well as Reactor Pressure Vessel upper and lower heads, rings and pressurizers. The French governments Institute for Radiological and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) warned in August that there was a risk of reactor fuel melt down if steam generators with excess carbon operated. A maximum carbon limit is set by regulation to prevent a reduction in the toughness of the steel in the steam generators and Reactor Pressure Vessel, reduced toughness can lead to thermal shock induced fast fracture, where the steel shatters like glass. See, IRSN, 2016 2016-00275 Objet: EDF – REP – Paliers CP0, CPY et N4 – Ségrégations en carbone des fonds primaires de générateurs de vapeur – Analyse de sûreté et mesures compensatoires, 5th August 2016.

Download the report

For further information:
Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist, Greenpeace Germany (Tokyo) (0)80 3694 2843

Kendra Ulrich, senior global nuclear campaigner, Greenpeace (0) 90 6478 5408

Chisato Jono, communications officer, Greenpeace Japan: (0)80-6558-4446

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Russia’s top secret nuclear sacrifice zone revealed

REVEALED: Putin’s top secret deadly nuclear city where spies observe ‘poisoned’ locals

A CITY of almost 82,000 people are living on a nuclear time bomb in one of the most toxic places on earth. By SIOBHAN MCFADYEN, Oct 31, 2016 And the residents of the Russian walled city of Ozyorsk in Chelyabinsk Oblast code named City 40 are living in fear of their lives with their every move being watched by Kremlin spies.

Brave locals are living in an experiment zone, on a toxic lake where almost of all of Vladimir Putin’s nuclear arsenal is stockpiled.

And for the first time they have opened up about their experiences residing in the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme. The city is officially closed to the outside world and for those who live there every day is a battle.

Around 15,000 people are employed by the Mayak plant, a plutonium handling facility which rose to prominence during the Cold War. The plant itself covers an area of approximately 50 miles and reprocesses spent fuel from the country’s nuclear submarines.

A new documentary called City 40 now available on Netflix shows for the first time the challenges being faced by the people who live there – many of whom are suffering from cancer. The narrator says: “Growing up as a kid I was aware of a strange place a closed place, a top secret place

“This is where almost all the reserve of Russia’s nuclear materials is stockpiled. “To get in there you would need a full-scale army operation. “Unauthorised access there cannot even be imagined.” The city itself is constantly under surveillance with very little information leaking out to the mainstream.

A narrator adds: “It’s cozy and a beautiful town but a closed one.  “There are spies all over sneaking around gathering information. “My mother used to warn me ‘darling, never say where you are from. “‘Or a Black Maria will take us away and you’ll never see your parents again’.

“Once there was a spill of powder, the radioactive kind of powder. “An underground container of liquid radioactive waste exploded.”

According to reports around 10,000 people have disappeared off the census list in just eight years.

The last census was taken in 2010, it is unknown whether the people have died however many residents are extremely sick.  A city dweller adds: “The local people will tell you that this lake is nicknamed the ‘lake of death’ because it has been so heavily contaminated with plutonium.

“Mostly people were dying of carcinogenic diseases. “Once can say this city was built on dead and ruined human bodies.”If someone refused to work they’d be taken to a prison camp and executed because they were introduced to state secrets.

“They created their own ideology. “We’re the saviours of the world, creators of the nuclear shield.” While the undercover film team have managed to gain access to the locals it is unknown whether they will go unpunished for revealing themselves to camera.

Tensions between the USA and Russia have peaked over recent weeks and it is believed the facility will no doubt be in full production mode. A narrator adds that most of the locals wouldn’t dream of leaving – not because they want to but because they can’t.

They added: “We are used to it and this is how we want to live. “It may be for the better, it may be for the worse, but for now just leave us alone please.”My mother told me ‘let state secrets stay secrets.”

November 2, 2016 Posted by | environment, health, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Japan’s danger: spent nuclear fuel pools

“Reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel is something only about one-fifth of countries operating nuclear power plants are paying any attention to, as most places like the UK and France are either halting operation or considering it,” said von Hippel.

“Declining international prices for low-enriched uranium, the fuel for light-water reactors, mean there is no economic value,” he explained.

If there’s a fire at spent nuclear fuel pool, 24 million would need to be evacuated by Lee Keun-young, senior staff write Nov.1,2016  Analysis indicates that method of storing spent nuclear fuel presents risk, and is going mostly ignored

More than 24 million people would have to be evacuated if a fire occurred at the water pool holding spent nuclear fuel at the Kori No. 3 Nuclear Power Plant, an analysis indicates.


“Analysis with HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model, the computer recognized by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for assessment of atmospheric radiation exposure from a nuclear power plant accident, showed maximum damages covering an area of 54,000 square kilometers or over 50% the national territory, and the evacuation of up 24.3 million people due to leaking of cesium-137 (Cs-137) and other radioactive materials in the event of a fire in the Kori No. 3 reactor spent nuclear fuel water pool,” said senior researcher Kang Jung-min of the US Natural Resources Defense Council in an Oct. 31 debate at the National Assembly on the topic “How dangerous is spent nuclear fuel?”

HYPSLIT code was also the analytical program applied by the US at the time of the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Japan.

Averages from the analysis, which involved the inputting of meteorological conditions for the first weeks of the months January to December 2015, showed large-scale damages in other countries besides South Korea. In addition to the 5.4 million people who would have to be evacuated in South Korea, another 1.1 million would require evacuation in North Korea, 7.9 million in Japan, and 700,000 in China.

“The method of storing spent nuclear fuel in dense water pools presents a serious risk of accident from the loss of cooling functions, not just from an earthquake, tsunami or other natural disaster but also potentially from a terrorist or missile attack,” Kang said.

“To reduce the damage risk, we need to move [spent fuel] into dry storage facilities five to six years after it comes out of the reactor, and to store in a regular rather than dense way,” he added.

Princeton University professor Frank von Hippel noted the same day that “the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported benefits equivalent to just 10% of costs in the case of dry storage, but it also reduced the costs by limiting the danger radius to 80 km and using 1995 figure to calculate life values for cancer deaths.”

“It costs far less to move spent fuel into dry containers than it does to reprocess it,” von Hippel added.

In 2003, the US Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review a plan for keeping spent nuclear fuel in water pool storage for five years before transferring it to dry containers and storing it on open racks. A report was published in 2006, but the NRC did not take action. Its benefit calculations were released only recently after the Fukushima disaster.

“Reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel is something only about one-fifth of countries operating nuclear power plants are paying any attention to, as most places like the UK and France are either halting operation or considering it,” said von Hippel.

“Declining international prices for low-enriched uranium, the fuel for light-water reactors, mean there is no economic value,” he explained.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Australia’s pivotal role in the global nuclear lobby’s pitch for survival

So – the Australian public dreams on – preoccupied with the Melbourne Cup and other sporting events. And the global nuclear lobby continues its machinations. It would be such a strong selling point, to be able to tell South Asian countries that they can go ahead with nuclear power, as Australia will take out the radioactive trash.


The machinations of the global nuclear lobby  Noel Wauchope  , 31 October 2016 

Australia has been pretty much of a forgotten player in the global nuclear “renaissance”.  Not any more.  The big nuclear players – USA, Russia, Canada, France, China , Japan South Korea are busily marketing nuclear technology to every other country that they can.  Strangely enough little ole non-nuclear Australia, (population 23 million) has a starring role to play in all this.

You see, the global nuclear lobby’s problem is – what to do with the radioactive wastes?   I know that the new geewhiz guys and gals are pushing hard for Generation IV reactors that will “eat the wastes”.  The trouble is – there is an awful lot of the stuff. World total of high level radioactive wastes was estimated at 250,000 tonnes in 2010 .  There must be quite a bit more by now.  The other trouble is that even the most geewhiz of the as yet non- existent Gen IV nuclear reactors still would leave a smaller but highly toxic volume of radioactive trash, which would still require disposal.

This leads to a serious marketing issue. If countries such as USA, Japan, Canada, South Korea, are still having trouble dealing with their own domestic accumulation of nuclear waste, how can they persuasively sell nuclear reactors to Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries? The waste problem must be solved!

The wizards of the global nuclear lobby have come up with what they see as the perfect answer. A far away land, with lots of space that’s owned by “unimportant” indigenous people, could import the wastes, and thus remove the problem.  It’s a sort of variant on the old “toilet way down the back”. Continue reading

November 2, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, spinbuster, wastes | Leave a comment

Fukushima Facility to Become Soccer Training Camp for 2020 Olympics

Tepco to end operations at the J-Village complex by March

Facility to be used as training camp for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The base for the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear plant will be returned by March to its original use: the training camp for the Japanese national soccer team.

In a symbolic step in the struggle to contain one of the worst nuclear disasters, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. will return the J-Village facility — about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the crippled Dai-Ichi plant and just 7 kilometers from the current exclusion zone — to the prefectural government during the current fiscal year, company spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said Tuesday. It’s also a boon for soccer players who will use the complex as their training base for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The complex, opened in 1997 and shut down after March 2011 meltdown, will be fully reopened for players of “The Beautiful Game” in April 2019. It boasts 11 soccer pitches, a 1,200 square-meter gymnasium and a four-lane pool.



J-Village when fully opened in 2019. JAPAN FOOTBALL VILLAGE Co. INC.


The hand-over is a shot in the arm for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has vowed the nuclear disaster will not impede the nation’s plans to host the 2020 Games. In September, the premier said the situation at Fukushima is “under control” and that there doesn’t need to be a review of measures to prevent contamination.

This promised handover of J-village would serve as a symbol of progress,” Daniel Aldrich, professor and director of the security and resilience studies program at Northeastern University in Boston, said by e-mail.

Tepco clearly hopes that this will show the nation that it is on track in the Fukushima accident clean up process,” Aldrich said. “However, a number of obstacles, including expanding costs for decommissioning, a lack of physical control over the contaminated groundwater at the site, and complaints about the decontamination process nearby will no doubt hinder the process.”

As Tepco begins in coming years to remove melted fuel at Fukushima, clean-up costs may rise to several hundred billion yen annually from the current 80 billion yen ($763 million), Japan’s industry ministry said in October. About 300 metric tons of water — partly from the nearby hills — flow into the reactor building daily, mixing with melted fuel and becoming contaminated, according to the company.

The utility used the soccer facility as a make-shift base for tasks from corporate communications to measuring the radiation exposure of employees. It even built temporary dormitories there.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Kawamata evacuation order to be lifted

The evacuation order for the town of Kawamata in Fukushima prefecture will be lifted next March, allowing residents to permanently return to their homes there, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has announced.

Fukushima evacuation zone - November 2016 - kawamata in red.jpg


The evacuation zone for Kawamata, marked in red, is to be lifted in March 2017. The orange areas are those with restricted access, while entry to the pink area is allowed only in exceptional circumstances


In a 28 October statement, the ministry said the evacuation order for Kawamata would be lifted on 31 March 2017.

The town’s entire population of 15,877 people were evacuated after a large earthquake and tsunami struck the nearby Fukushima Daiichi plant on 11 March 2011. The loss of power at the plant led to core meltdowns at three of the plant’s six units, resulting in the spread of radioactive materials across the area.

Separate from the evacuation area defined by a 20 kilometre radius from Fukushima Daiichi, the area near Kawamata was evacuated once it was known that radioactive particles had been carried by the wind from the damaged power plant.

While limited access to the town had been permitted, METI relaxed controls on entry to most of Kawamata town, northwest of the plant, in August 2013. The redesignation allowed decontamination work to begin and for essential infrastructure and services to be reconstructed. Residents have been able to return at will to visit and work without the use of protective equipment. The only restriction has been that they may not stay overnight.

The radiation dose rate for a person living in Kawamata would be less than 20 millisieverts per year – the government’s benchmark for permanent return – METI said.

As of 1 August 2016, the number of Kawamata residents classed as evacuees totalled 1159, only 46 of which now live outside of Fukushima prefecture, according to figures from the prefectural government.

According to the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Kawamata will be the seventh municipality to have its evacuation order lifted. As from April 2017, it says, evacuation orders will remain in effect in parts of five municipalities – the towns of Tomioka, Okuma, Namie and Futaba, as well as part of the village of Iitate.

The government aims to lift all evacuation orders by March 2017, except for certain areas where radiation levels are expected to remain high.





November 2, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Ice wall at Fukushima plant to be examined



Japanese government officials and the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant say they plan to dig and check the ground around reactors. They want to see if an ice wall installed there is working as intended.

The underground ice wall is meant to prevent groundwater from getting into the damaged reactor buildings and becoming contaminated.

Tokyo Electric Power Company has been creating a 1.5 kilometer-long barrier of frozen earth since March. The ice wall is formed by circulating coolant in pipes buried around the reactor site.

Engineers believe that except for an area on the plant’s hillside, the freezing work has been completed.

Government and TEPCO officials have relied on thermometers in the ground to determine if the soil is frozen. But Japan’s nuclear regulator has urged them to more precisely check the conditions underground and the ice wall’s effectiveness.

This month, workers will dig several meters into the ground south of the Number 4 reactor to directly check the condition of the frozen wall. The area was chosen due to its relatively low radiation level.

Later this month, officials from a government task-force will inspect the site.

TEPCO’s decommissioning roadmap calls for most of the contaminated water to be removed from the reactor buildings in 2018. To achieve this, the ice wall needs to be completed and effectively preventing groundwater from flowing into the reactor buildings.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Gov’t to seek disaster compensation funds from consumers who used nuclear energy


The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering making customers of new, smaller power companies who previously used nuclear energy from Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and other utilities shoulder part of the surging compensation costs for the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Under the Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damage, nuclear power operators must each provide 120 billion yen to be used together with money paid by TEPCO and other major utilities to the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation to provide compensation. However, the compensation bill for the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster continues to grow, and the compensation fund is expected to be left trillions of yen short.

The ministry takes the view that major utilities should have gathered more compensation funds from their customers, and it therefore plans to seek compensation funds from those who were previously in contracts with major power companies, using their nuclear energy.

A plan has surfaced to charge small-scale power companies more to deliver electricity through the power grids of major utilities, with the extra costs to be used for compensation. This and other plans will be debated on Nov. 2 at a working group of a ministry committee on energy reform. However, as some customers could face higher bills as a result, the move could trigger a public backlash.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO Employee Has Overwork Depression, Seeks Compensation


TEPCO employee says he has depression due to overwork, seeks compensation

A 35-year-old employee handling compensation claims relating to the Fukushima nuclear disaster for Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has filed an application with the Tokyo Central Labor Standards Inspection Office seeking workers’ compensation for depression.

Tadafumi Ichii filed the application on Oct. 31, arguing that he started suffering from depression as a result of being forced to work long hours illegally. According to his application and other information, in September 2011 — six months after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis — Ichii transferred to a division tasked with handling complaints from businesses that were not satisfied with the amounts of compensation they were offered for declining sales. In February 2013, he took over the role of giving advice to about 450 TEPCO employees on whether or not to pay damages.

The man clocked 89 hours overtime in March 2013, but he stated, “My overtime working hours, if combined with unpaid overtime and take-home work, stood at 169 hours (in March).” On the morning of June 20, 2013, he could not get out of bed, and failed to show up for work that day. He then transferred to TEPCO’s branch office in Tachikawa, western Tokyo, on July 1, 2013. He frequently started being absent from the office or leaving early, suffering symptoms such as vomiting in the office’s toilet. He was diagnosed on Sept. 3, 2013, as having tendency toward depression and he took a leave of absence from the following day. He was officially diagnosed with depression in April 2014.

The man received a notice from TEPCO in October this year stating that he would be dismissed on Nov. 5 when his recuperation period was due to expire. TEPCO demanded that Ichii submit documents including a doctor’s medical certificate, if he intended to return to work. Ichii says he still suffers symptoms such as insomnia. His doctor, therefore, has judged that he requires further medical treatment, he says.

“I worked hard until I was worn out,” Ichii said at a news conference.

An official with the public relations department at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. commented, “We understand that the labor standards inspection office concerned decides on individual claims for workers’ compensation. We decline to answer questions regarding individual cases.”

According to TEPCO, work to pay compensation to local residents whose livelihoods were lost and companies whose sales dropped due to the nuclear accident started in April 2011 and is ongoing.

As of Oct. 28, there were about 2,691,000 applications and about 6.479 trillion yen had been paid for a total of about 2,515,000 applications that TEPCO had finished screening.

TEPCO worker seeks compensation over Fukushima job

A 35-year-old employee of Tokyo Electric Power Company is seeking insurance benefits, arguing that he developed depression due his work dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Tadafumi Ichii spoke to reporters on Monday after filing the request for workers’ accident compensation with labor authorities.

Ichii said that, in September of 2011, he was tasked with paying redress to businesses affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant six months earlier.

He said he was in charge of up to 180 companies and put in nearly 170 hours of overtime a month. He added that he was caught between his bosses and his clients, and mentally driven to the edge.
The utility reportedly plans to dismiss him when his sick leave ends in early November.

Ichii said he sacrificed his health to do the job and that he cannot accept the way his employers are treating him.

Tokyo Electric Power Company said in a statement that the utility will deal with the matter sincerely when it is contacted by labor authorities.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Industry ministry to create new fund to decommission Fukushima No. 1 plant reactors


The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is poised to set up a system under which Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) will accumulate the funds necessary to decommission reactors at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant with the help of a government-backed organization, sources close to the ministry said.

Under the system, money that TEPCO accumulates through cost-cutting and other measures will be provided to the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp. (NDF), which will use the funds when necessary.

The move is aimed at strengthening the central government’s involvement in decommissioning the reactors at the tsunami-ravaged power station and securing as much money as possible to cover the costs.

TEPCO has so far raised a total of 2 trillion yen to decommission reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 complex. However, several trillion yen more is highly likely to be needed to decommission the reactors.

The planned scheme will allow the NDF to manage the decommissioning plan and funds to reduce the financial burden on consumers as much as possible, and stably secure funds for decommissioning the reactors at the plant. TEPCO and its subsidiaries will be required to raise as much money as possible to decommission the reactors.

The ministry is considering a plan to add the costs of dismantling reactors at the crippled Fukushima plant to the fees that new, smaller-scale power companies pay for using TEPCO’s power cables. However, consumers are critical of the plan, which would force them to shoulder an extra burden for the decommissioning of the reactors. As such, the ministry intends to secure as much money as possible for reactor decommissioning by strengthening the national government’s involvement and reforming TEPCO’s management.

Once the estimated costs of scrapping the Fukushima No. 1 plant reactors are finalized, TEPCO will be required to set aside a massive amount of funds for such work, possibly falling in a state of capital deficit in which its liabilities exceed its assets. The ministry will therefore take legal measures to allow TEPCO to post its liabilities in installments.


November 2, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment