Kyushu Electric Power Co. on Dec. 22 sought approval from the Nuclear Regulation Authority to start the 28-year process of decommissioning an aging reactor at its Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture.
It is the first reactor-decommissioning plan submitted to Japan’s nuclear watchdog under new regulations established after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. One new guideline sets the life span of a nuclear reactor at 40 years, in principle.
Kyushu Electric plans to start decommissioning the No. 1 reactor of the Genkai plant next fiscal year, which starts in April. The total cost of the four-stage project is estimated at 36.4 billion yen ($300 million).
The decommissioning work is expected to generate about 3,000 tons of radioactive waste, but the disposal sites have not been picked.