Japanese utility eyes scrapping 2nd Fukushima nuclear plant via Washington Post

TOKYO — The operator of a nuclear power plant in northeast Japan that suffered meltdowns seven years ago said Thursday for the first time publicly that it will start making concrete plans to decommission another plant in Fukushima that narrowly escaped the crisis.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings said it will decide on the timeline and other details before formally announcing the dismantling of four reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ni, or No. 2, plant, which has never restarted since the 2011 disaster.


An additional decommissioning in Fukushima would mean all 10 of TEPCO’s reactors in Fukushima would be dismantled eventually.

TEPCO has said a Fukushima No. 2 decommissioning would cost about 280 billion yen ($2.5 billion), in addition to the estimated 22 trillion yen ($200 billion) needed for the ongoing Fukushima No. 1 cleanup.


“We thought prolonging the ambiguity would hamper local reconstruction,” Kobayakawa said.

Uchibori welcomed the decision, saying TEPCO’s plan for Fukushima No. 2 decommissioning would help alleviate negative image and safety concern


In addition, its four reactors are more than 30 years old and would have required TEPCO to make huge investments to improve safety to get approvals for restarts.

TEPCO would be left with only Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata, northern Japan, to produce nuclear power. Local restart approvals for two of its seven reactors are pending.


Nuclear energy now accounts for less than 2 percent of Japan’s energy mix since most reactors were idled after the 2011 disaster. Only five reactors have since restarted.

While the government of pro-business Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to start up as many reactors as possible, restarts are coming slowly as anti-nuclear sentiment remains strong and regulators have stepped up screening process.

Still, the government says nuclear energy should account for 20-22 percent of Japan’s energy mix by fiscal 2030 in a draft energy plan that experts say as unrealistic.

Mari Yamaguchi | AP

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