Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

The Japanese government approved a new business plan for Tokyo Electric Power Co. this week, while a town near the company's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant announced it would reestablished itself as a center for cleanup work.

Recent developments related to the reactors blacked out following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami include:

Drainage project at Fukushima Daiichi. Source: TEPCOTokyo OKs New TEPCO Business Plan

The Japanese government gave its approval to an overhaul of TEPCO's business plan Wednesday, in line with policies set in December to speed the cleanup and increase state support for the company. TEPCO hopes to restart units at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant beginning in July while restructuring its business to compete amid broader market reforms that will affect all Japanese utilities in the coming years. Kyodo reported that the plan sets a 2016 target for the government to consider selling its controlling interest in the company. The plan also includes cost-cutting measures over the next decade that will reduce the company's payroll by about 1,000 positions this year, largely through early retirements.

Town to Reestablish Itself With Focus on Cleanup

City leaders from Okuma, a town about eight miles north of Fukushima Daiichi, announced a plan Wednesday to repopulate a portion of the municipality as a base for cleanup operations. By mid-2018, the Asahi Shimbun reported, the plan envisions about 3,000 people living in a decontaminated 123-acre area where current radiation levels are comparatively low. Most would work at the plant or be engaged in related research. A TEPCO compound is currently located in Okuma, but its 11,000 original residents remain evacuated.
 
Photo: Workers construct a new drainage tunnel near contaminated water storage tanks in December. Source: TEPCO

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