Tomoaki Kobayakawa, the president of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., has said to Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori that the company plans to decommission all four reactors at its Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant. All 10 reactors in Fukushima Prefecture, including those at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, are now set to be decommissioned. TEPCO must proceed with the decommissioning safely and steadily. The Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant has not been in operation since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, but a massive amount of spent nuclear fuel remains. Kobayakawa explained the reason for deciding to decommission the reactors: “If this ambiguous situation continues, it will hinder reconstruction efforts.” Behind this decision is also a continued increase in the volume of treated water, including the radioactive material tritium, at the Fukushima No. 1 plant where the decommissioning work is under way. The company seems to hope to make a breakthrough for the release of the treated water into the ocean by agreeing to decommission the No. 2 plant as requested by people living in the prefecture. Decommissioning is said to usually take 20 to 40 years. Moreover, the work will be conducted in parallel with the decommissioning of the No. 1 plant, which was severely damaged in the nuclear accident. How can the company secure skilled engineers? How can massive radioactive waste generated from the decommissioning be treated? Various challenges lie ahead.
Japan News 16th June 2018 read more »