Australian news, and some related international items

Japan to scrap remaining nuclear reactors in Fukushima Prefecture

Japan to scrap remaining nuclear reactors in Fukushima Aljazeera, 1 Aug 19

Tepco to decommission four more reactors in the Fukushima prefecture, eight years after Japan’s worst nuclear disaster.  Tokyo Electric Power Company has announced plans to decommission its Fukushima Daini nuclear plant, located a few kilometres south of the Fukushima Daiichi plant where three reactors melted down after an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The decision by Tepco’s board on Wednesday means all 10 nuclear reactors in the northeastern Fukushima prefecture will be decommissioned.

The prefectural government had previously urged the operator to dismantle the Daini plant, saying its existence has hampered reconstruction efforts, according to Kyodo news agency.

The Daini plant, which started its commercial operation in 1982, only narrowly avoided a major accident at the time of the disaster at the Daiichi. …….In April, Japan partially lifted an evacuation order in one of the two hometowns, Okuma, for the first time since the disaster, but many former residents are still reluctant to return.

The other hometown, Futaba, remains off-limits, as are several other towns nearby.

Tepco said it will take more than four decades to dismantle the four reactors at the Daini plant. The estimated cost for dismantling and decontamination will be 280 billion yen ($2.6bn).

Company president Tomoaki Kobayakawa visited Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori and told him about the decision and the governor asked Kobayakawa to “make safe and steady progress” on the decommissioning.

The utility plans to build an on-site facility to store spent nuclear fuel from the plant, though it has yet to pick a final disposal site for the fuel, Japanese daily The Mainichi reported.

The decommissioning means Japan is left with 33 reactors to generate electricity nationwide, compared with 54 before the disaster.

Of the 33 units, seven reactors are in operation amid lingering concerns about nuclear energy……….

August 1, 2019 - Posted by | General News

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