Ja­pan’s Tepco may moth­ball re­ac­tors at world’s big­gest nuclear plant

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Tokyo Elec­tric Power said on Mon­day it may start to de­com­mis­sion at least one nuclear re­ac­tor at its Kashi­waza­kikariwa power plant, the world’s big­gest nuclear plant by ca­pac­ity, within five years of restart­ing two of the re­ac­tors at the site.

Tokyo Elec­tric Power (Tepco) Pres­i­dent To­moaki Kobayakawa made the decom­mis­sion­ing com­ments in a statement out­lin­ing its re­sponse to a re­quest for plans on the sta­tion’s future by the gov­ern­ment of the city of Kashi­wazaki in Ni­igata pre­fec­ture, where the plant is lo­cated.

In 2017, Tepco re­ceived ini­tial reg­u­la­tory ap­proval from the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment to restart the No. 6 and No. 7 re­ac­tors at Kashi­wazaki-kariwa, each with a ca­pac­ity of 1,356 megawatts (mw). The plant site has seven re­ac­tors with a to­tal ca­pac­ity of 8,212 mw, equal to 20 per­cent of Ja­pan’s nuclear ca­pac­ity.

The fa­cil­ity is Tepco’s last remaining nuclear plant af­ter it an­nounced plans to shut its Fukushima Daini sta­tion, nearby the Fukushima Daichi sta­tion where a mas­sive earth­quake and tsunami caused the meltdown of three of the site’s re­ac­tors in 2011.

Kashi­wazaki’s Mayor Masahiro Saku­rai de­manded in 2017 that Tepco sub­mit plans to shut at least one of the No. 1 to No. 5 re­ac­tors in re­turn for ap­proval of the restart of re­ac­tors No.6 and No.7, a city of­fi­cial told Reuters by phone on Mon­day. The Kashi­wazaki Mayor will take about a month to eval­u­ate Tepco’s plan, the of­fi­cial said.

Tepco said on Fri­day that Kobayakawa would brief lo­cal of­fi­cials on Mon­day about its an­swers to the city’s re­quest.

Tepco may take steps to de­com­mis­sion more than one of the No.1 to No.5 re­ac­tors within five years af­ter the restart of the No.6 and No.7 re­ac­tors if it is con­fi­dent it can se­cure enough non­fos­sil fuel en­ergy sources, ac­cord­ing to the statement.

A Tepco of­fi­cial said on Mon­day the com­pany is tar­get­ing hav­ing re­new­able and nuclear power pro­duce 44 per­cent of to­tal gen­er­a­tion by 2030.

Tepco has been trying to con­vince lo­cal au­thor­i­ties near Kashi­wazaki-kariwa, who have sign-off rights on nuclear restarts, that it has overcome op­er­a­tional fail­ings re­vealed at Fukushima.

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