Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (TEPCO), struggling to recover from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, is mulling collaborating with other utilities in conducting regular checkups of their nuclear power plants to cut down on costs, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
The joint checkups will be based on the Tokyo-based utility’s restructuring plan unveiled last May to revitalize its nuclear power business through cooperation with other electric power companies.
For the checkups, TEPCO is seeking cooperation with utilities which have boiling-water reactors, the same type as those at TEPCO plants, or companies which own nuclear reactors in the vicinity of its own reactors.
The checkups often take several months and involve around 1,000 workers, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure many personnel with nuclear expertise in a country with a graying population, the sources said.
Deteriorating profitability at power companies due to the shutdown of nuclear reactors following the Fukushima crisis is another propelling factor for the streamlining of checkups, they said.