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Scrapping of Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant a chance to boost reconstruction

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August 02, 2019
All the nuclear power plants that had operated in Fukushima Prefecture will be decommissioned. This should mark the end of one chapter and promote progress in the area’s reconstruction from the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
At a board meeting, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. formally decided to scrap all four reactors at the utility’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant.
Although the power plant was damaged in the 2011 catastrophe, it escaped the kind of major accident that befell the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. After the disaster, the No. 2 plant served as a rear support base for the No. 1 plant.
TEPCO probably intended to restart operations at the No. 2 plant to help lift its profitability. However, the prefecture and local authorities passed a string of resolutions calling on TEPCO to retire the nuclear plant, so the decision to decommission the reactors can be described as unavoidable.
Decommissioning of the No. 2 plant will be done at the same time as the No. 1 plant is being scrapped. Nuclear fuel at the No. 1 plant melted, so decommissioning work there will be considerably more difficult than it would at undamaged reactors. People are unable to approach the reactor cores because of high radiation levels, so removing the melted fuel will be done by remote control. This is a special situation without precedent anywhere in the world.
Sophisticated technology will be needed to carry out decommissioning work under such extreme conditions. Perhaps this should be considered from the perspective of being an opportunity to make the surrounding area a central hub for decommissioning technologies.
Major domestic manufacturers have been developing technologies such as robots that can enter and inspect the reactor cores. Foreign companies keen to acquire knowledge about decommissioning technologies also are interested in this process.
Treated water still problem
A local plant construction company will be involved in some of the demolition work that has started at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. The company plans to use special cutting equipment it developed to steadily dismantle a 120-meter-tall exhaust stack next to a reactor building.
If more orders for work like this were placed with local companies, it would create new industries and jobs and give impetus to the region’s recovery.
Decommissioning the reactors will take 40 years. Continually securing the required human resources also will be a challenging task.
For the time being, the biggest problem will be disposing of contaminated water that has been generated ever since the nuclear accident.
More than 1 million tons of treated water — contaminated water that has undergone purification — is being stored in more than 900 huge tanks. These tanks occupy much of the ground at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and are becoming an impediment to decommissioning work.
There is a limit to the storage space available for this water. Fishing cooperatives and other groups oppose the option of discharging into the sea treated water containing amounts of the radioactive substance tritium diluted to below the government’s standard. If the sea discharge is to go ahead, the government must carefully explain the situation to gain the understanding of local residents and groups.
The decision to scrap the Fukushima No. 2 plant brings the number of nuclear reactors locked in for decommissioning to 24 — almost half of the reactors in Japan. From the viewpoint of ensuring a stable supply of energy, it is necessary to seek the restart of the remaining nuclear plants after making sure they are safe to operate.

August 3, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Decision to Scrap Fukushima Daini 4 Reactors

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TEPCO officially decides to abolish Fukushima Daini nuclear plant
This photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter on June 14, 2018, shows the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
July 31, 2019
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. officially decided Wednesday at a board meeting to abolish the Fukushima Daini nuclear complex near the Daiichi plant crippled by the March 2011 disaster.
It means that all 10 nuclear reactors in the northeastern prefecture, including the six at the Fukushima Daiichi complex, will be scrapped, though this will take decades. TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa met Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori and reported the decision.
The decommissioning work of the four nuclear reactors at the Daini plant will likely cost some 280 billion yen ($2.6 billion) and require more than 40 years. The power company plans to build an on-site facility to store spent nuclear fuel from the plant, though it has yet to pick a final disposal site for the fuel.
The Daini complex started the four reactors’ commercial operation from 1982 to 1987. The nuclear power plant was also hit by the tsunami in the 2011 disaster, temporarily losing key cooling functions, but managed to avoid meltdowns that occurred at the Daiichi plant.
The prefecture has called for scrapping the Daini plant, saying its existence has been hampering reconstruction efforts.
 
Fukushima gov. accepts TEPCO decision to scrap Daini nuclear plant
This photo taken on June 14, 2018, shows the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima
July 31, 2019
FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) — Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori said Tuesday his prefecture will accept Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s recent decision to scrap the Fukushima Daini nuclear complex near the Daiichi plant crippled by the March 2011 disaster.
In a meeting with Tomoaki Kobayakawa, the president of the utility known as TEPCO, the governor also accepted its plan to build an on-site storage facility to store spent nuclear fuel.
The decision means all 10 nuclear reactors in the northeastern prefecture, including the six at the Fukushima Daiichi complex 12 kilometers from the Daini plant, will be scrapped, though the decommissioning work will take decades.
The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami did not cause serious structural damage to the Daini plant, while three of the reactors at the Daiichi complex experienced meltdowns.
TEPCO’s decision to scrap the Daini complex, expected to cost around 280 billion yen ($2.6 billion), will be formally approved at the company’s board meeting on Wednesday.
“I’m grateful that I received a certain degree of understanding. We will proceed (with the decommissioning) with a renewed sense of responsibility,” Kobayakawa said in the meeting with the governor.
Uchibori and Kobayakawa discussed TEPCO’s plan last week, with the governor saying that while he welcomed the scrapping of the reactors he needed to consult the towns hosting the complex about the storage facility.
TEPCO has not picked a final disposal site for the spent fuel from the Daini complex, raising concern among local residents that the radioactive nuclear waste may remain stored on-site for a long time.
“The premise is that the nuclear fuel will be transported out of the prefecture. Temporary storage for the time being is unavoidable,” Uchibori said.
He later told reporters TEPCO had assured him that the storage facility would not be permanent.
The Daini plant currently has around 10,000 assemblies of spent fuel cooling in pools.
The scrapping of the Daini plant also means that the central government’s annual subsidies of around 1 billion yen ($9.2 million) each for the towns of Naraha and Tomioka that host the facility will eventually be terminated.
Revenue linked to the nuclear plant, from property taxes and in other forms, accounted for 25 percent of Naraha’s total revenue and 40 percent of Tomioka’s.
Uchibori said he will ask the government to take into account “the financial situation of the two towns in view of the special circumstances relating to the decommissioning.”

August 3, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO bears responsibility for decommissioning over generations

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Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant
July 29, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has announced that it will decommission all four reactors at its Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant.
The decision indicates the landscape of nuclear energy in Japan is entering an age of mass decommissioning.
TEPCO plans to work concurrently to scrap a total of 10 nuclear reactors, including all six at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the site of the 2011 disaster. The task will be almost unparalleled and unprecedented in the world in terms of its scale.
TEPCO should fulfill its momentous duties in undertaking the task to help rebuild disaster-stricken communities of Fukushima Prefecture.
It took TEPCO an entire year to make the latest decision after the utility said last year it would consider the decommissioning option. That is enough evidence there are high barriers to be surmounted.
One difficulty consists in ensuring the availability of workers.
A staff of 3,600 is currently working to scrap the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, where four reactors went crippled. Work to grasp the full picture of the reactor interiors, where nuclear fuel melted down, remains in a trial-and-error stage and is facing extremely rough going.
The latest decision means the Fukushima No. 2 plant, a logistic support base for those efforts, will itself be an additional site of decommissioning work.
TEPCO officials said they have largely figured out how the work will be done. We are left to wonder, however, how they plan to get all the necessary, highly skilled workers.
The task should be undertaken cautiously and steadily so there will be no accidents.
While it is believed it takes about 30 years to decommission a typical nuclear reactor, TEPCO officials said it will likely take more than 40 years to scrap all the reactors at the Fukushima No. 2 plant because the work cannot be done on all four reactors there in one continuous period.
That is about the same span of time that someone spends working for a company from entrance as a new hire through retirement age. The efforts will straddle generations.
TEPCO will be required to keep its staff highly motivated and to overcome any difficulties responsibly during all that time.
While the scrapping work will only start after specific plans for it have been approved by the government’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, solutions have yet to be decided for many anticipated problems.
The four reactors of the Fukushima No. 2 plant contain about 10,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies. TEPCO plans to have them stored temporarily on the grounds of the nuclear plant before having them taken out of Fukushima Prefecture.
But where exactly they will be taken “will be studied in the years to come,” said Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of TEPCO Holdings Inc.
Some rules remain to be determined for the disposal of radioactive waste, of which more than 50,000 tons are expected to be produced.
Decommissioning of nuclear reactors is a challenge that faces all major electric utilities.
Decisions have been made to scrap 21 nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, and more are expected over time.
The question of what to do with spent fuel and radioactive waste should not be put on the back burner. The government should work to solve it.
Rising costs due to tightened safety measures have given a push to utilities’ decisions to scrap their reactors. Only nine reactors have so far been brought back online following the Fukushima disaster.
Plans to build new nuclear plants and reactors are making little progress. As a matter of reality, nuclear energy is losing the status of a mainstay power source.
That notwithstanding, utilities still stick to their old stance of continued reliance on nuclear power, saying they want to utilize what they have.
TEPCO is no exception. The owner of seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture is hoping to reactivate the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors there for starters.
Major utilities, especially TEPCO, are required to face up to the tough reality and look at what lies beyond the age of mass decommissioning. They bear the social responsibility to assign ample human and financial resources for renewable energy sources, which will be a major pillar of power supply for the next generation, among other areas.

July 31, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to decommission all four reactors at Fukushima Daini

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The No. 4 reactor building stands at Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holding’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power station in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, in July 2012
Tepco to decommission reactors at Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant
 
July 20, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. will formally decide to decommission the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant after informing the prefecture’s governor of its policy as early as this month, a company source has said.
Excluding the nearby No. 1 plant, which was crippled by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, it is the first time that the utility has decided to decommission a nuclear facility, the source said Friday.
The decommissioning of all four reactors at the No. 2 plant will likely require more than 40 years and cost an estimated ¥280 billion ($2.6 billion), the source added. If realized, all 10 reactors in Fukushima Prefecture will be scrapped.
Tepco now believes that it can secure funds to cover costs for the decommissioning and necessary workers, sources said.
The company will submit a specific decommissioning plan to the Nuclear Regulation Authority by the end of March 2020, according to the sources.
Closure of the No. 1 plant, which suffered core meltdowns at three of its six reactors, has already been decided.
After telling Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori about the policy, it could be formally approved at a Tepco board meeting scheduled for the end of this month, the source said.
The No. 2 complex was also hit by tsunami waves in the 2011 disaster and temporarily lost reactor cooling functions. But unlike the No. 1 plant, it escaped meltdowns.
Since the disaster, firms operating 21 nuclear reactors in the nation, including those at the No. 2 plant, have decided to decommission the facilities.
If the decision is approved by the board, the Tokyo-based utility’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture will become its only nuclear complex.
In June last year, Tepco President Tomoaki Kobayakawa told the governor that the company is leaning toward scrapping all four reactors at the No. 2 plant. A project team was later formed at the utility and looked into whether that is possible, according to the source.
The prefecture has demanded the utility scrap the reactors, saying their existence would hamper its reconstruction efforts.
 
 
Tepco to retire remaining reactors in Fukushima
Decommissioning is expected to take 40 years and cost $2.5bn
Tepco plans to authorize the decommissioning of all four Fukushima Daini reactors this month, a project estimated to cost $2.5 billion.
July 20, 2019
TOKYO — Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings will scrap the four Fukushima Prefecture reactors that escaped damage in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, moving to decommission all of the nuclear power plants the public utility owns in the disaster-stricken region.
The shutdown of the Fukushima Daini plant, which is located just 12km away from the Daiichi Plant crippled by fuel meltdowns, will be formally authorized at the company’s board meeting at the end of the month. This marks the first decision by the utility, known as Tepco, to decommission nuclear reactors apart from the Daiichi facilities. 
Costs for decommissioning Fukushima Daini are estimated to exceed 270 billion yen ($2.5 billion). While Tepco’s reserves are not enough to cover them, the government adopted new accounting rules allowing operators to spread a large loss from decommissioning over multiple years. The company also believes it has secured enough people with necessary expertise to move forward. 
Tepco soon will inform Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori of its decision. The utility intends to submit the decommissioning plan to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority by March next year. 
The decision means all 10 reactors in Fukushima will be scrapped. The Daini reactors will be decommissioned in roughly 40 years, sharing the same timetable as the Daiichi site. Tepco owns one other nuclear plant, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility in Niigata Prefecture.
The Daini plant, where each reactor produced 1.1 gigawatts of power, served the Tokyo area for about three decades. Japan’s central government sought to restart the complex but faced withering opposition from local residents in Fukushima.
Including the Fukushima Daini facilities, a total of 21 reactors across Japan are now slated for decommissioning. Recent additions include two units at the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture and one reactor at the Onagawa facility in Miyagi Prefecture.

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to decommission Fukushima Daini nuclear plant

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July 19, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. will formally decide to decommission the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant after informing the prefecture’s governor of its policy as early as this month, a company source said Friday.
Excluding the nearby Daiichi, crippled by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, it is the first time that the utility, also known as TEPCO, has decided to decommission a nuclear plant.
The decommissioning of all four nuclear reactors at Daini will likely require more than 40 years and some 280 billion yen ($2.6 billion) in costs, the source said. If realized, all 10 nuclear reactors in Fukushima Prefecture will be scrapped.
Closure of the Daiichi plant, which suffered core meltdowns at three of its six reactors, has already been decided.
After telling Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori about the policy, it may be formally approved at a TEPCO board meeting, scheduled at the end of this month, the source said.
The Daini complex was also hit by tsunami waves in the 2011 disaster and temporarily lost reactor cooling functions. But unlike the Daiichi plant, it escaped meltdowns.
Since the disaster, the decommissioning in Japan of 21 nuclear reactors, including those at Daini, has been decided.
For the Tokyo-headquartered power company, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture will be its only nuclear complex.
In June last year, TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa told the governor that the company is leaning toward scrapping all four reactors at the Daini plant. A project team was later formed at the utility and looked into whether that is possible, according to the source.
The prefecture has demanded the utility scrap the reactors, saying their existence would hamper its reconstruction efforts.

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

‘Green Lawn’: Pundit Suggests Fukushima Prefecture May Remain Without NPP

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24 June, 2018
Following the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant core meltdown, the Fukushima No. 2 plant, which survived the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, may be decommissioned. The president of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), Tomoaki Kobayakawa, announced this in an interview with the governor of Fukushima Prefecture, Masao Uchibori.
The statement that the company is considering this option was made for the first time the Janapese Times (Nihon Keizai) reported.
Before the accident, Fukushima No. 1, with its six power units with a total generation capacity of 4.7GW, was considered one of the 25 largest nuclear power plants in the world. While there are only four power units at Fukushima No. 2, they were all shut down after March 2011.
Although there were serious problems with the emergency cooling system after they were shut down, the temperature of the reactors and the situation at the nuclear power plant could be quickly brought under control. The emergency situation at the power plant was lifted on December 26, 2011. However, since then, it has not resumed work.
According to TEPCO estimates, the closure of the Fukushima No. 2 power plant will require approximately 280 billion yen. In addition, another 22 trillion yen will go to the ongoing cleanup of the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
Japanese media have reported that the company was forced to take such a radical step because of the concerns of residents of the prefecture and the demands of local authorities. The potential dangers caused by natural disasters on the Japanese islands were also taken into consideration.
Just this week, after an earthquake in Osaka, all the nuclear power plants located in relative proximity to the epicenter were inspected.
Expert Mikhail Rylov from the Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety told Sputnik that it would be difficult to relaunch the Fukushima No. 2 plant.
“I think this is, first of all, a business issue. For several years the equipment at the NPP [nuclear power plant] hasn’t been in use, and if it worked, it was not in the normal operational mode. To restart the power plant after so many years is troublesome and time consuming. Having estimated the technical condition and residual life of the power units, the company realized that even after restarting the nuclear power plant, in a few years the resource will need to be extended. And this is a very expensive task, requiring considerable intellectual and monetary costs. Surely they also took into account the issues of infrastructure, logistics, potential natural disasters, highly qualified personnel, etc. Like other nuclear power plants in Japan, [they] have already been tired of inspections after the Fukushima No. 1 disaster.”
Mr. Rylov noted that the decommissioning of the power plant is the best option in the current situation despite the fact that dismantling the plant is also a hard process.
“It takes several years to dismantle a nuclear power plant to the state of a ‘brown lawn,’ when not only equipment that was not intended for further use, but all the radioactive waste is removed from the site. The site can be used for other purposes, including for the needs of nuclear energy. But to bring the site of the former nuclear power plant to the state of a ‘green lawn’ will take several decades. ‘Green Lawn’ is a complete dismantling of reactor facilities, buildings, and disposal of radioactive waste with the complete elimination of all traces of NPP activities. Ideally, the final stage of the decommissioning process of a reactor should be a ‘green lawn,’ which means it would be safe for a public park or to build a kindergarten. How far will the Japanese company go, it’s hard to say. After all, there was still no official notification about the closure of the station,” the expert concluded.
The  No. 4  unit at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture restarted operations last week after it met all the requirements imposed after the Fukushima No. 1 plant accident. It became the ninth nuclear reactor to be restarted after new tougher requirements were introduced. A demonstration was held against the resumption of operations and people demanded that the country’s energy policy be changed.

June 26, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to decommission Fukushima Daini plant

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Tokyo Electric Power Company has revealed a plan to consider decommissioning all the reactors at its Fukushima Daini nuclear plant.
 
It is located about 12 kilometers south of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was critically damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. All 4 reactors at the Daini plant have been halted since the disaster.
 
TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa informed Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori of the plan at the prefectural government office on Thursday.
 
Kobayakawa noted that there have been negative rumors about Fukushima, and many evacuees are still unable to return home.
 
He told Uchibori his company has decided that keeping the Daini plant idle would hamper the reconstruction efforts in the prefecture.
 
The Fukushima prefectural assembly had adopted a petition to scrap the reactors at the Daini plant.
The municipal assemblies in Tomioka and Naraha, the towns that host the facility, have adopted a similar demand. The governor has repeatedly asked TEPCO and the central government in Tokyo to arrange the early decommissioning of the plant.
 
The utility, however, had refrained from saying clearly whether it would decommission the plant, citing the need to consider the government’s energy policies and the business environment.
 
TEPCO is now expected to scrap all 10 reactors in Fukushima Prefecture — 6 at the Daiichi plant and 4 at the Daini plant.

June 18, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Small fire breaks out at Fukushima No. 2 nuke plant

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The Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant is seen on Sept. 4, 2017
 
FUKUSHIMA — A minor fire set off an alarm in a building at the Fukushima No. 2 Nuclear Power Plant on Feb. 8, sparking an investigation.
At about 9 a.m. on Feb. 8, an alarm went off in a building handling the processing of waste from reactor Nos. 1 and 2 at the plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. (TEPCO). A worker from a cooperating company noticed smoke coming from a room for cooling equipment and rushed to put out the fire, which was confirmed extinguished about 40 minutes later.
The Futaba Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire. Officials said a monitoring post on the perimeter of the nuclear plant grounds showed no change in airborne radiation levels.
The six-story building where the fire started is made of reinforced concrete. In addition to handling the processing of waste liquid containing radioactive materials from the plant’s No. 1 and 2 reactors, it has a laundry facility for workers’ clothes. The cooling equipment room is in a radiation control area, and is outfitted with air conditioning and other equipment.

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | | Leave a comment

TEPCO vows decommissioning of Fukushima N-plant

A TEPCO logo is pictured on a sign showing the way to the venue of the company's annual shareholders' meeting in Tokyo

FUKUSHIMA (Jiji Press) — The new leaders of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. told Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori on Monday of their resolve to promote the decommissioning of the company’s disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

There is no change at all that Fukushima is our basic focus,” TEPCO Chairman Takashi Kawamura said to Uchibori at a meeting in the prefectural government office, after explaining that TEPCO’s new management team was launched after approval at a general meeting of its shareholders on Friday.

Kawamura said, “We will proceed safely and steadily with the decommissioning work for the Fukushima No. 1 plant,” where a serious nuclear accident occurred after the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. The prefecture hosts the plant.

Meanwhile, Uchibori said the people of Fukushima Prefecture strongly want all reactors at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, also located in the prefecture, to be decommissioned, the same as they want the decommissioning of the Fukushima No. 1 plant and the implementation of accident compensation plans.

Since the 2011 disaster, TEPCO has halted all four reactors at the No. 2 plant. The Fukushima prefectural assembly and the assemblies of all 59 municipalities in Fukushima have adopted resolutions calling on the company to decommission the No. 2 plant or taken similar steps.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003784590

June 26, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Incoming Tepco chief vows decision on whether to scrap Fukushima No. 2

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The incoming president of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. has expressed eagerness to accelerate moves for tie-ups with other companies in an effort to revive its business following the meltdowns at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex in 2011.

Capital strength is important to seriously embark on growth businesses,” Tomoaki Kobayakawa, the head of Tokyo Energy Partner Inc., Tepco’s electricity retail arm, said in a recent interview. The 53-year-old is set to assume the post of president on June 23.

His remarks were in line with Tepco’s new business turnaround plan announced on March 22, in which it said it aims to realign and integrate its nuclear and power transmission and distribution businesses with other utilities to improve profitability.

The company, burdened with massive costs stemming from the Fukushima disaster, was placed under effective state control in exchange for a ¥1 trillion ($9 billion) capital injection in 2012.

Compensation and disaster cleanup costs have continued to rise, with the latest estimate reaching ¥22 trillion — twice the sum expected earlier.

Kobayakawa said JERA Co., a joint venture of a Tepco unit and Chubu Electric Power Co. in the area of coal power generation, is a “good example” of a tie-up, as enlarged capital has allowed it “to move powerfully.”

He said the power transmission and distribution businesses will also “produce outcomes if we can (align with other companies) and cover a wide network.”

I want to make more and more proposals,” he said, pointing to the possibility of forming alliances with businesses overseas, given that domestic demand for electricity is on the decline.

On the resumption of nuclear power generation, Kobayakawa expressed his intention to respect the view of local municipalities in restarting reactors 6 and 7 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast.

Masahiro Sakurai, the mayor of Kashiwazaki, the city that hosts the nuclear plant along with the neighboring town of Kariwa, has said that the decommissioning of one of reactors 1 to 5 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant would be a condition for the restart of reactors 6 and 7.

I haven’t met (the mayor) in person. I would like to confirm his intention,” Kobayakawa said.

Kobayakawa also reiterated the company’s position that it will decide “comprehensively” on whether the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, located around 12 km south of the crippled Fukushima No. 1, would be scrapped as the prefectural government has urged the decommissioning of the plant.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/06/15/business/corporate-business/incoming-tepco-chief-eager-tie-ups-raise-funds-vows-decision-whether-scrap-fukushima-no-2/#.WUKt5zdpzrc

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to decommission 1 reactor at Fukushima No. 2 plant, mulling fate of 3 others

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Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) has informally decided to decommission the No. 1 reactor at its Fukushima No. 2 Nuclear Power Plant, it has been learned.

In the wake of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and ensuing meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in Fukushima Prefecture, local bodies and residents of the area who suffered extensive damage requested that all four reactors at the No. 2 plant also be decommissioned.

TEPCO had avoided stating a clear position on the No. 2 plant’s reactors, but there had been pressure from the government and ruling coalition for it to make a decision. The company accordingly decided to decommission the plant’s No. 1 reactor, which suffered the most damage, and will consider what to do with the other three reactors in the future.

The No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No. 2 plant began operating in 1982. It was flooded by tsunami on March 11, 2011, and all four reactors at the plant remain idled. The No. 2 plant suffered less damage than the No. 1 plant, and if it passed screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, its reactors could be restarted. But the Fukushima Prefectural Government and all 59 local assemblies have asked TEPCO and the government to decommission all reactors in the prefecture.

TEPCO has remained busy handling compensation claims relating to the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the disaster cleanup. If it were to decommission all of the No. 2 plant’s reactors, they would lose value and it would have to write down huge losses. Company president Naomi Hirose has therefore avoided taking a clear position on the issue, saying, “I would like to consider it and make a decision as a business operator.”

Last year, however, officials decided to create a fund to cover the huge cost of handling the nuclear disaster, which is expected to reach 21.5 trillion yen, nearly double the original prediction. There was accordingly pressure from the government for TEPCO to reach an early decision on the fate of the No. 2 plant’s reactors.

The No. 1 reactor at the No. 2 plant is the oldest of the plant’s four reactors. It temporarily lost its cooling functions in the March 2011 disaster, and suffered the most damage among the four reactors. TEPCO believes that by limiting decommissioning to one reactor for the time being, it will be able to hold the decommissioning cost below 100 billion yen, minimizing the impact on company finances and on decommissioning work at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. However, a decision to decommission only one reactor at the No. 2 plant is unlikely to win public approval.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170317/p2a/00m/0na/024000c

March 20, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco denies it plans to scrap reactor at Fukushima Daini

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Tokyo Electric Power : Tepco denies it plans to scrap reactor at plant close to crippled Fukushima site

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings on Friday denied a media report that it was set to decommission a nuclear reactor that suffered only minor damage compared with the nearby Fukushima Daiichi plant that was wrecked after a massive quake in 2011.

The Mainichi newspaper reported earlier that Tepco was likely to decommission the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daini power plant as it was the worst-hit of the facility’s four reactors after the quake and tsunami, temporarily losing cooling functions.

Local governments have been calling for the decommission of all four reactors at Fukushima Daini. The government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have also pressed Tepco to make a decision on decommissioning the No.1 reactor.

Dozens of reactors elsewhere in Japan are still going through a relicensing process by a new regulator set up after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, the world’s worst since Chernobyl 25 years previously, highlighted regulatory and operational failings by the country’s nuclear utilities.

http://m.4-traders.com/TOKYO-ELECTRIC-POWER-COMP-6491247/news/Tokyo-Electric-Power-Tepco-denies-it-plans-to-scrap-reactor-at-plant-close-to-crippled-Fukushima-s-24058746/

March 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Six years after outbreak of crisis, Fukushima nuclear workers continue to face slander, discrimination: survey

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Workers at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants have faced prolonged periods of stress after suffering slander and discrimination in the six years since the triple reactor meltdown at the No. 1 plant in March 2011, a university survey has found.

Over 10 percent of workers at the plants were slandered or discriminated against after the calamity, and many continue to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, including flashbacks and sleep disorders, the survey found.

The survey covered 1,417 employees for Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. who worked at the No. 1 and No. 2 plants at the time of the disaster.

Of them, 181 people, or 12.8 percent, were slandered or suffered discrimination, according to the survey, which was conducted by a team that included Takeshi Tanigawa, a professor at Juntendo University’s Graduate School of Medicine in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward.

Just after the nuclear crisis erupted, the workers had a rate of post-traumatic stress disorder 5.7 times higher than other Tepco employees. Even three years later, the rate remained 3.7 times higher.

Taniguchi said anger at Tepco should not be directed at its employees, since they are also part of the reconstruction effort in the Tohoku region. The government, he added, should also support efforts to protect the physical and mental health of Tepco workers involved in the reactors’ decommissioning.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/11/national/science-health/six-years-outbreak-crisis-fukushima-nuclear-workers-continue-face-slander-discrimination-survey/#.WMWPVKKmnIU

March 15, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fate of Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant remains unknown

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The government is struggling to decide the future of Tepco’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, which has been suspended since the March 2011 disaster.

There have been increasing calls for decommissioning the power plant located just a few kilometers south of the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 installation.

The government has been finding it difficult to reach a clear conclusion on Fukushima No. 2’s fate, as it and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings have been busy dealing with its older counterpart that suffered three reactor meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

On Dec. 21, the Fukushima Prefectural Assembly voted unanimously to adopt a resolution calling on the central government to decommission the No. 2 plant “at an early date,” arguing that the facility is an obstacle to the prefecture’s recovery from the 3/11 disasters.

A temporary halt to the cooling system for a spent fuel pool at the No. 2 plant caused by an earthquake in November rekindled fears of another meltdown crisis.

In 2011, the prefectural assembly adopted a petition calling for decommissioning all reactors in Fukushima.

The assembly has also adopted a series of written opinions demanding the decommissioning of the No. 2 plant, which is located in the towns of Naraha and Tomioka.

Demands from local communities “have been ignored by the central government,” one person said.

The central government’s official position is that whether to decommission the plant is up to Tepco.

As the government has already lifted the state of emergency for the No. 2 plant, it has no authority to decide the decommissioning under current regulations.

If an exception were made, the central government could receive a barrage of requests for decommissioning reactors all over the country, sources familiar with the situation said.

Such a situation would destroy Japan’s whole nuclear policy,” a senior official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

Some people have called for creating a special law on decommissioning Fukushima No. 2, but others have raised concerns that such a step could infringe on Tepco’s property rights, the sources said.

Some officials in the central government have said that no one believes the No. 2 plant can continue to exist.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet have left room for making a political decision on dismantling the facility, saying that the plant can’t be treated in the same way as other nuclear plants due to fear among Fukushima residents of another nuclear accident.

Since the government effectively holds a stake of more than 50 percent in Tepco, it can influence the company’s policy as a major shareholder.

But Tepco now needs to focus on dealing with the No. 1 plant. A senior company official said that it “cannot afford to decide on decommissioning, which would require a huge workforce.”

The main opposition Democratic Party plans to pursue a suprapartisan law that would urge Tepco to decide to decommission the plant at an early date.

While understanding calls for early decommissioning, we have no choice but to wait for the No. 2 plant’s four reactors to reach the end of their 40-year lifetimes,” a lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said.

The four reactors launched operations between April 1982 and August 1987.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/01/03/national/fate-fukushima-no-2-nuclear-plant-remains-unknown/#.WGvj1Fzia-d

January 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | | Leave a comment

Puddles Found in Reactor Buildings at Fukushima Daini Plant

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Fukushima Daini

Following a powerful quake that hit northeastern Japan in the early morning on Nov. 22, 2016. The utility said Nov. 24 that puddles in three of the four reactor buildings at the idled Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant may have formed from water that splashed out of spent-fuel pools during the quake.

http://english.kyodonews.jp/photos/2016/11/445699.html

November 24, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment