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Japan utilities, Toshiba, Hitachi eye nuclear business alliance

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This file photo taken in November 2018 shows preparation under way for dismantling an exhaust pipe used by the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s No. 1 and No. 2 reactors
August 29, 2019
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Two Japanese utilities and Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. said Wednesday they have agreed to discuss potential collaboration in the nuclear business, as the industry faces a difficult environment following the Fukushima accident.
Amid lingering safety fears over nuclear plants, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., operator of the crippled Fukushima complex, Chubu Electric Power Co. and the two major nuclear reactor builders said they consider jointly developing human resources, technologies and supply chains.
Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, stricter safety requirements have been implemented and only nine reactors at five complexes in Japan have restarted operations. At the time of the disaster, Japan had 54 nuclear reactors for commercial use.
The four companies said the envisaged partnership is aimed at effectively operating and developing nuclear technologies, and that they plan to promote cooperation especially in the boiling water reactor business.
However, demand for nuclear energy in Japan is unlikely to recover to the pre-Fukushima disaster level.
Facing huge compensation payments and other costs stemming from the Fukushima disaster, Tokyo Electric Power Company is eager to resume operating two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture but has found difficulty in obtaining necessary approval from host municipalities.
Chubu Electric is also struggling with rising costs to maintain the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, which remains offline.
Hit by ballooning costs, Hitachi has suspended a 3 trillion yen ($28 billion) nuclear plant project in Britain, while Toshiba decided in 2017 to exit the nuclear business outside Japan after incurring huge losses in the United States.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment