Decommissioning plans approved for five Japanese units

19 April 2017

Decommissioning plans for five Japanese reactors officially taken out of service in April 2015 have today been approved by the country's nuclear regulator. The plans outline the facilities and equipment to be dismantled and a timetable for completing the work.

At a regular meeting today, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved plans for the decommissioning of Genkai 1, Mihama 1 and 2, Shimane 1 and Tsuruga 1.

The five older Japanese reactors were declared for decommissioning in mid-March 2015 following the introduction of an accounting-related system earlier that month to determine which units should not be restarted.

Under revised regulations that came into force in July 2013 reactors have a nominal operating period of 40 years. Extensions can be granted once only and limited to a maximum of 20 years, contingent on exacting safety requirements. The owners of the five units decided to shut them after an assessment of the work needed to ensure the units meet the new safety requirements.

Kyushu Electric Power Company submitted its decommissioning plan for Genkai 1 to the NRA in December 2015. Kansai Electric Power Company and Japan Atomic Power Company submitted their plans for decommissioning units 1 and 2 of the Mihama plant and unit 1 at Tsuruga, respectively, in February 2016. A decommissioning plan for Shimane 1 was submitted by Chugoku Electric Power Company in May 2016.

According to their plans, the utilities expect it to take about 30 years to complete the dismantling of each reactor.

In statements welcoming approval of their respective plans, the reactor owners said they would seek approval from local residents before beginning decommissioning work at the units.

Following the March 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi, all of Japan's reactors were gradually taken offline for periodic inspections and safety checks. With NRA approval of their decommissioning plans, the periodic inspections at the five units have now officially been declared ended.

Shikoku Electric Power Company announced in March 2016 that it had decided not to restart unit 1 of its Ikata plant. A decommissioning plan for that unit is still under review by the NRA.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News