Fukushima-Daini / Tepco Confirms Decision To Decommission All Four Units

By David Dalton
31 July 2019

Tepco Confirms Decision To Decommission All Four Units
The Fukushima-Daini nuclear power station will be decommissioned, Tepco has confirmed. Photo courtesy NRA.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has confirmed that it will permanently shut down and decommission its Fukushima-Daini nuclear power station, about 12 km south of the bigger Fukushima-Daiichi facility where three reactors melted down after an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The decision, announced after a board meeting today, means all 10 nuclear reactor units in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima, including the six at Fukushima-Daiichi, will be decommissioned.

Japanese press reports said Tepco president Tomoaki Kobayakawa met Fukushima governor Masao Uchibori to tell him of the decision.

The reports said decommissioning of the four Fukushima-Daini units will cost about 280 billion yen ($2.6 billion) and take more than 40 years. Tepco plans to build an onsite facility to store spent nuclear fuel from the plant.

Fukushima-Daini has four 1,067-MW boiling water reactors that began commercial operation between April 1982 and August 1987.

All four units have been shut down since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami which resulted in a series of equipment failures, fuel meltdowns, and releases of radioactive materials at nearby Fukushima-Daiichi.

In June 2018 Mr Kobayakawa said Tepco was planning to decommission all four units at Fukushima-Daini, but did not give any details of a timeframe.

Tepco operates three nuclear stations in Japan – Fukushima-Daiichi, Fukushima-Daini and the seven-unit Kashiwazaki Kariwa, in the western prefecture of Niigata.

Kashiwazaki Kariwa was not affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, although its reactors had all been offline for up to three years following a 2007 earthquake which damaged the site but did not damage the reactors themselves.

In December 2017 Units 6 and 7 at Kashiwazaki Kariwa became the first boiling water reactors to meet new regulatory standards imposed after the Fukushima-Daiichi accident., but they have not yet been restarted.

Japan shut down all 42 commercial nuclear reactors after the Fukushima-Daiichi accident.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the country’s nuclear share in 2017 was about 3.6%. Before Fukushima, Japan generated about 30% of its electricity from nuclear and planned to increase that to 40%.

Last month an energy white paper adopted by the Cabinet called for further efforts to cut carbon emissions by keeping to a nuclear generation target of 20% to 22%.

Nine units in Japan’s reactor fleet are now in commercial operation. They are Ohi-3 and -4, Genkai-3 and -4, Sendai-1 and -2, Takahama-3 and -4, and Ikata-3.

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