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Five aging reactors to be decommissioned

  • 2015-01-14 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: January 14, 2015 – p. 1)

 

 Kansai, Chugoku, Kyushu Electric Power companies and Japan Atomic Power Co. (JAPC) have decided to announce next month the decommissioning of five aging nuclear reactors that have been in operation for about 40 years. After explaining to relevant local governments and obtaining consent from them in February, those companies will submit notifications to the economy, trade and industry minister in March. An official decision of the decommissioning will be made after April.

 

 In response to the nuclear accident that occurred in 2011at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., the government introduced a system that limits the maximum operating period for nuclear power plants to 40 years. This is the first time for electric companies to announce the decommissioning of reactors since then.

 

 The five reactors to be shut down are the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at KEPCO’s Mihama plant; the No.1 reactors at the JAPC’S Tsuruga plant, both in Fukui Prefecture; the No. 1 reactor at Chugoku Electric’s Shimane plant in Shimane Prefecture; and the No. 1 reactor at Kyushu Electric’s Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture. The No. 1 reactor at the Genkai plant is 39 years old and the rest are over 40 years old. As their generating power is less than half that of the latest nuclear power plants, it would too costly for those companies to try to bring the aging reactors in line with the new safety standards.

 

 If the reactors are decommissioned, the companies will lose about 21 billion yen per reactor. Such losses could cause the electric companies’ business performance to deteriorate rapidly if they are all declared at once. The electric companies are planning to decommission the five reactors because METI’s working group decided on Jan. 14 to establish a special rule to allow the companies to disperse the loss. Meanwhile, KEPCO plans to extend the operations of the 40-years-old Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Takahama plant (Fukui Prefecture) on account of their high generating power. (Translated by Yomiuri and MATT/edited by MATT)

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