Ikata 1 decommissioning gets regulatory approval

29 June 2017

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has approved a plan to decommission unit 1 of Shikoku Electric Power Company's Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime prefecture. The reactor was due to end its 40-year operating period in September this year and could have applied to the NRA to extend its licence for a further 20 years if it invested in upgrade work.

Ikata 1 is a 538 MWe pressurized water reactor that began commercial operation in September 1977. It was taken offline in September 2011 for periodic inspections and has now become the sixth reactor which the NRA has approved for decommissioning since an overhaul of regulations in 2012, following the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi plant the previous year.

The NRA said that, "on the approval of Ehime prefecture and Ikata city through preliminary consultation, we will work on safety first with regards to the decommissioning measures of the Ikata Power Station Unit 1 based on the approved decommissioning plan".

The Mainichi reported that Shikoku plans to take around 40 years to complete decommissioning of the unit at an estimated cost of JPY40.7 billion ($363 million).

According to the report, low-level radioactive waste produced during the decommissioning work is estimated to total 3060 tonnes, while waste not classified as radioactive material will total about 39,100 tonnes. The used fuel will be stored in a pool at unit 3 of plant, it added. According to International Atomic Energy Agency data Ikata 1 generated 126.8 TWh of electricity during its period of operation.

Shikoku's board of directors decided in March last year that Ikata 1 would be decommissioned. Upgrades costing more than JPY170 billion would have been needed at the unit in order for it to operate beyond 40 years.

The five other reactors with approval for decommissioning are units 1 and 2 of Kansai Electric Power Company's Mihama plant in Fukui Prefecture, unit 1 of Japan Atomic Power Company's Tsuruga plant, also in Fukui Prefecture, unit I of Chugoku Electric Power Company's Shimane plant in Shimane Prefecture, and unit 1 of Kyushu Electric Power Company's Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News