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Decisions to scrap 5 reactors confirmed

March 18, 2015


More reactors to be decommissioned for a total of 5


Decisions to scrap 5 reactors confirmed


Two more aging nuclear reactors are to be decommissioned in addition to three that utilities said had outlived their service life.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. announced March 18 it has decided to decommission the No. 1 reactor at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture, while Chugoku Electric Power Co. said it will mothball the No. 1 reactor at the Shimane nuclear plant.

The reactors have been in operation for close to 40 years.

The move follows an announcement the previous day by Kansai Electric Power Co. and Japan Atomic Power Co. to decommission three reactors.

The four companies will notify Yoichi Miyazawa, the economy, trade and industry minister, of their decision as early as March 19.

The decommissioning will be the first since the central government established a 40-year operating life for nuclear reactors following the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.

The status of the three reactors owned by Kansai Electric Power and Japan Atomic Power will be considered as under decommissioning from April 27. The March 18 decision will reduce the total number of nuclear reactors in Japan to 43.

The five reactors to be decommissioned all had relatively small outputs, which meant the expenses required to meet tougher safety standards would not likely have been recouped even if the reactors had their operating lives extended for 20 years, the maximum allowed under new government rules.

Makoto Yagi, president of Kansai Electric Power Co., and Japan Atomic Power Co. President Yasuo Hamada met separately on March 17 with Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa and explained their decisions to decommission the three reactors in Fukui Prefecture.

Kansai Electric Power also submitted applications with the Nuclear Regulation Authority on March 17 for safety screenings that would be needed to resume operations at the Takahama No. 1 and No. 2 reactors in Fukui Prefecture, along with the No. 3 reactor at the Mihama nuclear plant, also in Fukui. Although those three reactors also have been in operation for close to 40 years, their outputs of 826 megawatts each were considered sufficient to warrant the additional investment needed to meet tougher safety standards.

Three reactors are already undergoing decommissioning: the Tokai plant in Ibaraki Prefecture owned by Japan Atomic Power, along with the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors of the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, overseen by Chubu Electric Power Co.



 March 18, 2015

2 more power companies decide to scrap aging nuclear reactors




FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Chugoku Electric Power Co. decided Wednesday to decommission aging reactors, following a similar move the previous day by the operators of two nuclear power plants in Fukui Prefecture amid safety concerns in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Kyushu Electric's board decided to scrap the No. 1 reactor at the Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture, southwestern Japan, ahead of the 40th anniversary in October of the start of its operation.

Chugoku Electric Power Co. decided to decommission the No. 1 reactor at the Shimane plant in Matsue, western Japan, on the Sea of Japan coast, which is more than 40 years old.

A regulation brought in following the March 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant forbids nuclear reactors from operating for more than 40 years in principle, but they may be allowed to continue operating for up to 20 further years if the operators make safety upgrades and the unit passes the regulator's screening.

Operators of aging plants are facing a tough decision as huge amounts of additional investment are needed to meet the new safety requirements to keep reactors operating beyond 40 years.

On Tuesday, Kansai Electric Power Co. and Japan Atomic Power Co. decided to scrap a total of three old reactors.

The presidents of Kyushu Electric and Chugoku Electric are scheduled to report their decisions to local governments hosting the plants.


Japan utilities to scrap 2 more nuclear reactors



Mar. 18, 2015 - Updated 06:25 UTC+1

Two Japanese utilities plan to scrap one nuclear reactor each, as they are near the government recommended 40-year age limit.

This brings the number of reactors in the country slated for decommissioning after the 2011 nuclear disaster to 5, in addition to those at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Board members of the Kyushu Electric Power Company decided on Wednesday to decommission the No.1 reactor at their Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture.

The board of Chugoku Electric Power Company decided the same day to scrap the No.1 reactor at their plant in Shimane Prefecture.

Both reactors are relatively smaller in capacity and considered not worth the costs of upgrading.

Government regulations introduced after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi 4 years ago require costly safety improvements before utilities can restart reactors.

All nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline.


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