Technology group starting with two reactors
TOKYO — Hitachi will provide technology for decommissioning Japanese reactors in hopes of making gold out of the country’s aging nuclear infrastructure, starting with two units at a Shizuoka Prefecture plant.
Chubu Electric Power recently awarded the Japanese technology conglomerate primary bargaining rights for equipment to remove radioactive material remaining at the Hamaoka Nuclear power plant’s No. 1 and No. 2 reactors. The deal, to be officially inked later, is estimated at several billion yen (1 billion yen equals $8.98 million).
Hitachi will also aim to win orders for installation and related work from Chubu Electric, which estimates a roughly 90 billion yen tab for dismantling the two reactors.
The two Hamaoka units are among the roughly 30 boiling water reactors in Japan, which account for 60% of Japan’s units. By building up its decommissioning know-how through the Chubu Electric deal, Hitachi would put itself in an enviable position to take on a host of other assignments.
Apart from those at Fukushima Dai-ichi, nine Japanese reactors have been effectively slated for decommissioning. Other reactors, such as the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Kansai Electric Power‘s Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture, are about to hit their fourth decade in operation, a threshold for winding down.
In Japan, no commercial nuclear reactors have been completely dismantled, a situation Hitachi sees as a business opportunity. Rival Mitsubishi Heavy Industries established a division dedicated to the decommissioning business in 2015, and it is looking to assist Kansai Electric dismantle reactors at the Mihama plant, also in Fukui Prefecture.
Read more at Hitachi revs up to dismantle Japanese nuclear power plants