14 Mai 2017
12.05.2017_No94 / News in Brief
12 May (NucNet): Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said on 11 May 2017 that it will look for partners for its nuclear business as part of a recovery plan that could see it restart Units 6 and 7 at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear station in Niigata Prefecture, western Japan, by March 2020 at the earliest. The move would be the first step towards getting all seven boiling water reactor (BWR) units at the station back online by March 2026, the company said. Units 1, 6 and 7 at Kashiwazaki Kariwa have been shut since shortly after the March 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident, while units 2, 3 and 4 have been shut since an earthquake in Niigata Prefecture in July. The plan, which needs government approval, is part of an updated Tepco turnaround strategy aimed at generating operating profit of nearly 500 billion yen (€4bn, $4.4bn) in the fiscal year ending March 2026, a substantial increase from the 226 billion yen operating profit expected for the fiscal year that ends in March 2018. Tepco also needs to fund decommissioning and remediation costs at Fukushima-Daiichi. Those costs have been put by Tepco at around $770m a year, although various estimates have differed widely. Tepco said it aims to set up joint ventures for nuclear power and power grid operations to streamline its business and bolster earnings. Its search for an industrial partner includes plans to introduce “safe and low-cost” light-water reactors at the Higashi Dori nuclear station in Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan. Tepco plans to build two reactors at the site, where Tohoku Electric Power Company already owns a single 1,067-MW BWR. All reactors in Japan were ordered shut following the Fukushima-Daiichi accident. To restart, they must meet a series of regulatory requirements and receive local government consent. Of 42 operable reactors in the country, three are operating and another four are close to restarting.