29 Septembre 2012
September 29, 2012
Japan's 1st recycled-fuel plant
A Japanese power company plans to finish building Japan's first nuclear power station to run exclusively on recycled fuel, a mixture of plutonium extracted from spent fuel and uranium.
J-Power's plant in Ohma Town, Aomori Prefecture, would have a maximum power output of 1.38 million kilowatts, the most in Japan.
The firm began building the plant in 2008 but stopped after the Fukushima nuclear accident last year. The facility is nearly 40 percent complete.
J-Power initially aimed to start operating the plant in November 2014, but told the government in March that the start date was undecided.
Ohma Town still supports the construction even after the accident.
But Hokkaido's Hakodate City, located 20 kilometers from the town, has asked the central government that the project be suspended indefinitely. A group of Hakodate citizens has filed for a court injunction to stop the project.
Hakodate Mayor Toshiki Kudo said at a hastily arranged news conference on Friday that the city will never approve resuming the construction.
Kudo said J-Power told him that a senior official will visit Hakodate next Monday to explain the matter. He suggested that he will renew the city's request.
He added that the city is considering filing a lawsuit if J-Power goes ahead with its plan.
J-Power plans to resume construction of its nuclear plant in Aomori Prefecture this year, sources close to the matter said Friday, which would make it the first utility to do so since the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
The plan by the company otherwise known as Electric Power Development Co. is consistent with government policy but will be controversial.
Under the new national energy strategy the Cabinet weakened earlier this month, a nuclear power phaseout is to be pursued and new reactors are not to be built.
But trade minister Yukio Edano said that incomplete nuclear plants that were already under construction at the time of the Fukushima disaster would not be categorized as new.
The sources said that J-Power officials will visit Aomori on Monday to discuss the issue. The plant is being built in the city of Oma.
The move is certain to stir controversy among local and prefectural governments, and Hokkaido leaders have called for work on the facility to be suspended.
J-Power started building the plant, which is to have an advanced boiling water reactor, in May 2008 with the goal of bringing it online by November 2014.
The work, about 40 percent completed, was suspended because of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
The utility does not need government permission to resume construction.
The Oma complex and two other reactors elsewhere in Japan were approved for construction by the government before the Fukushima crisis started in March 2011.