Tepco Plans One More Reactor Shut Down

In a short announcement, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said on August 26 that it had submitted plans to the city of Kashiwazaki for the decommissioning of at least one of the reactors at the Kashwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station.

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa The seven-unit plant is the world’s largest in terms of capacity, according to Nuclear Engineering International. Plans already call for the start up of two units at the plant. The decommissioning would begin, according to the plan, within five years of those startups.

The company recently announced that it would decommission the Fukushima Daini nuclear power station, which is a neighbor plant to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant that suffered catastrophic damage following the earthquake-tsunami events of March 2011. The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, the company’s remaining nuclear plant, once represented 20 percent of Japan’s nuclear power capacity. Plans to restart the plant’s No. 6 and No.. 7 reactors have already been approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority under the stricter post-March 2011 guidelines.

The city’s mayor, Masahiro Sakurai, had requested the company close down at least one of its seven Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors, while the local residents had lobbying for the company to close reactors 1-5.

“In order for Tepco to accomplish its fundamental mission as an electric utility in natural resource-deprived Japan, or in other words, to provide a stable, inexpensive and low-CO2 emissions source of energy to the customer, we must leverage diverse energy sources to form a power mix that ensures stability, is economically feasible and conserves the environment, while prioritizing safety,” the company said, adding, “in addition to further promotiong the use of renewable energies, it will also be necessary to leverage nuclear power into the future.” The basic plan is for the company to continue expanding its wind and solar power options, while continuing to take full advantage of its nuclear power assets.

Tepco expects to increase its solar and wind power capacity to reach 44 percent of its total generation capacity by 2030.

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