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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 13 - 19  > TEPCO decides to close down Fukushima Daini NPP
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2018 June 13 - 19 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

TEPCO decides to close down Fukushima Daini NPP

June 18, 2018

Akahata editorial (excerpt)

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) President Kobayakawa Tomoaki recently announced that the utility will consider decommissioning four reactors at the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant (located at Naraha Town and Tomioka Town in Fukushima Prefecture). TEPCO had already decided to dismantle six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (in Okuma Town and Futaba Town in Fukushima Prefecture), which experienced catastrophic meltdowns following the 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami. At last, all nuclear reactors in Fukushima are on the list for decommissioning. The announcement should have come much earlier given the magnitude of the damage that Fukushima residents suffered.

The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP is still imposing hardships on a large number of Fukushima residents although more than seven years have passed since its occurrence. The Fukushima prefectural government’s estimate indicates that nearly 50,000 residents are still forced to live lives as evacuees. Many nuclear disaster victims have yet to restore their daily lives and livelihoods that they had before the meltdown accident.

Explaining the reason for the decommissioning, the TEPCO president said that to leave the future status of the NPP undecided will hamper the reconstruction efforts in Fukushima. What he said is what anyone with common sense knew years ago. The president’s remark revealed TEPCO’s irresponsible attitude.

The decommissioning work of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi NPP appears to have barely started, with the situation of the melted-down nuclear fuel remaining unknown. There is no prospect for disposing a large amount of radioactively-contaminated water stored at the site. In addition, it will take a long time to dismantle a total of ten reactors—six in the Fukushima Daiichi NPP and four in the Fukushima Daini NPP. TEPCO should exert utmost efforts to complete this task.

As TEPCO has given up on its intent to operate all of its rectors in Fukushima Prefecture, it is accelerating the move to reactivate the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Niigata Prefecture. This indicates that the utility has no remorse over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns.

The Abe government is seeking to decide on Japan's fifth basic energy plan that designates nuclear power generation as an important baseload energy source. The draft of the plan aims to increase the percentage of electricity generated by NPPs to 20-22% in 2030 from the current 2% by reactivating 30 reactors including ones in the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP. The government should drastically revise the pro-nuclear draft that goes counter to public demand for zero nuclear power.
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