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21 April, 2016

JAPC and U.S. Company Agree on Cooperation in Field of Decommissioning

On April 20, the Japan Atomic Power Co. (JAPC) agreed with the American company EnergySolutions to the effect that EnergySolutions will share its decommissioning know-how with JAPC. JAPC will utilize the know-how in the decommissioning of its Tsuruga-1 Nuclear Power Plant (BWR, 357MWe). Given that the number of NPPs nearing 40 years of operation in Japan is increasing and that such units tend to be less economical, JAPC and EnergySolutions are hoping to jointly receive contracts for decommissioning projects.

JAPC's Tsuruga-1

In the wake of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants in March 2011, decommissioning of 6 Japanese NPPs at 5 sites has been decided since last year. Domestic power companies, however, do not yet have sufficient experience with decommissioning work at light water reactors (LWRs), and are seeking the benefits of professional technology from overseas companies.

Since its establishment in 2006, EnergySolutions has already engaged in decommissioning 5 LWRs. JAPC will dispatch its employees to EnergySolutions’ decommissioning project at the Zion NPPs (PWRs) in Illinois, and will also receive in Japan employees from EnergySolutions.

JAPC is a specialist in the wholesale power business. After the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, JAPC’s Tokai-2 (BWR, 1100MWe) and Tsuruga-2 (PWR, 1160MWe) were shut down and remain out of service, causing the company considerable financial difficulty.

Decommissioning of its Tokai-1 (GCR, 166MWe), Japan’s first commercial reactor, had already been proceeding since December 2001. In February 2016, JAPC filed an application to decommission its Tsuruga-1 (BWR, 357MWe), Japan’s first commercial LWR, and has been preparing for that. Making use of those opportunities, JAPC hopes to develop new revenue sources by providing decommissioning services for other power company’s NPPs around the country.

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