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TEPCO to submit decommissioning plan regarding five reactors

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Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) will submit to a municipal official on Monday a plan regarding the decommissioning of five reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear station, the world's biggest atomic plant, Jiji Press said.

Japan suffered its worst energy crisis since the war after a March 2011 quake and tsunami led to a three-reactor meltdown at the Fukushima site, spewing radiation that forced 160,000 people to flee.

The plan to be submitted on Monday could take to 26 the units set to be decommissioned by Japanese nuclear operators, or nearly half their pre-disaster fleet, while TEPCO will be left with two of its 17 units before the Fukushima disaster.

Nuclear power met about 30% of Japan's electricity requirements before the March 2011 tsunami, but the eventual shutdown of all its reactors forced record imports of thermal coal and liquefied natural gas to replace the lost capacity.

TEPCO's president will meet authorities in the city of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in Niigata Prefecture, where the station is located, to explain the utility's response to a request to mothball the five reactors, spokeswoman Emi Iwasa told Reuters by telephone.

Iwasa declined to provide any further comment.

TEPCO has been trying to convince local authorities, who have sign-off rights on restarts, that it has overcome operational failings revealed at Fukushima and is competent to safely restart a reactor at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.

The plant was damaged in an earthquake in 2007 that led to a small release of radiation and residents are wary of any restart.

Three of the reactors have been shut since the 2007 quake and the other four were idled in the months after the Fukushima disaster.

Two of Kashiwazaki Kariwa's reactors, the newest, have been won initial approval from regulators to restart, but prefectural authorities are carrying out an inquiry into TEPCO's handling of Fukushima before they agree to any restart.

City officials at Kashiwazaki Kariwa want TEPCO to shut units 1 to 5 in return for restarting reactors No. 6 and No. 7, media have said.

A Reuters analysis late last year showed it was unlikely that the five units would ever restart.

Japan has six operating reactors, many of which are still going through a relicensing process under new safety standards imposed after the disaster highlighted regulatory and operational failings.

In 2016, the government estimated a total cost of about $200 billion for dismantling Fukushima Daiichi, decontaminating the affected areas, and paying compensation.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

5 Comments
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Hopefully this dismantling of this power station should be less costly and less controversial.

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Kashiwazaki Kariwa. That's quite a mouthful. I used to teach a class of five elementary school students focused on writing. Four could answer the question of residence as "I live in Oe." One, though, had to respond, "I live in Minamisendanbatamachi." Guess who always finished last.

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A good start, however. The NRA gets to write their own safety standards, and emergency response, prevention protocols. When they are not standing on the neck of TEPCO and not decommissioning, or forcing the ( as an example ) rewiring reactors that have 30 yr old plus electrical wiring which is still not fire retarded, this is just smoke and mirrors

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I find that a surprise that it would decommission 5 reactors leaving it with two reactors out of 17 originally. 6 at the nuclear disaster site, 4 at the other Fukushima plant, and 7 in Niigata, Kashiwazaki Kariwa.

According to the Nuclear Decommissioning Law the cost of the decommissioning must be met by the reactor owner and must show the necessary funds to complete the work and set those funds into a trust account so that in the event of a company collapse the money remains available to complete the decommissioning.

That would be a total of 9 reactors TEPCO wants to decommissioning at a cost of nearly ¥1 trillion but this company is near bankrupt.

The cost of the nuclear disaster site will be ¥100 trillion. TEPCO has also stated it won't pay any more compensation to the nuclear evacuee's, which it promised to do.

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I was starting to believe TEPCO more until they said they won’t pay compensation and the problem of the waste water.

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