Japan Nuclear Industry: Background Brief August 2015

IAEA report

The IAEA have issued a report on Fukushima Dai-ichi, it highlights progress and makes some recommendations. It is a good read if you are considering where your organisation may be able to provide support.

https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/missionreport170215.pdf

Nuclear Restarts, Life Extensions and Decommissioning

Restarts

  • Kyushu Electric’s Sendai plant 1 successfully restarted last Tuesday (11th August) and began transmitting electricity on the 14th August. There are plans to restart Sendai plant 2 in mid-October.
  • The Japanese government have proposed making nuclear energy account for between 20 and 22% of Japan’s electricity mix by 2030. This number is approximate, and doesn’t represent a specific number of plants.
  • Kansai Electric’s Takahama 3 & 4 are subject to a local court decision forbidding restart, and further court proceedings will take place.

Life extensions

• Kansai have applied to extend the operational periods of Takahama 1 & 2 by 20 years. This is the first such application for a reactor of 40+ years to the new regulator.

Decommissioning

  • It has been formally announced that the following reactors will be decommissioned: Kansai’s Mihama 1 & 2, JAPC’s Tsuruga 1, Kyushu’s Genkai 1 and Chugoku’s Shimane 1.
  • In general, utilities are directing most of their resource at the restart process, and decommissioning is not top of their priorities. However it is worth noting the following:
    • Decisions around waste storage are different for each prefecture, and some utilities cannot start the decommissioning process until this is resolved.
    • Regulations means that de-fuelling (and in some cases decontamination of the steam generation system) must be carried out first, but after that there is a view that plants may be left in care and maintenance for some time until utilities are in a suitable financial position to commence decommissioning.
    • Kansai have entered into an agreement with Areva/Westinghouse on decommissioning. Our understanding is that this is just a discussion around the system decontamination as described above – which these companies have experience in.
    • Chubu Electric, who started decommissioning two of their plants before the Dai-ichi accident, have been able to make progress as the BWR turbine halls are active areas and can be used for interim storage of waste.
  • Japan Atomic Power Company’s affiliated companies: Nuclear Services Company, Genden Business Services Company and Genden Information System Co will be merged as “Genden Engineering”.  JAPC operated Tokai-1, the first reactor in Japan to enter decommissioning many years ago, and have the most experience of decommissioning amongst the Japanese Utilities.

Progress at Fukushima Dai-ichi

  • The NDF’s strategic plan for revising the current ‘roadmap’ for Fukushima Dai-ichi has recently been published and has now been translated into English. This is a plan for how to revise the roadmap, and to inject some realism into the current high level plan. Please see the link below for the English version.

http://www.dd.ndf.go.jp/ddwp/wp-content/themes/theme1501/pdf/SP2015_20150624_en.pdf

New collaborative research centre on decommissioning

  • A new research centre to help speed up the decommissioning of reactors at Fukushima Dai-ichi has now started operation. The Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science (CLADS), located inside the agency’s Nuclear Science Research Institute in Tokai village, has some 80 staff members.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000051398.pdf

Events in the UK

  • NDA Supply Chain Event, 4th November (Manchester) – we are looking to recruit a Japanese delegation to this meeting.

http://www.decommsupplyevent.co.uk/

  • UKTI Civil Nuclear Energy Showcase, 19th – 21st January 2016 (London)

Contact the Nuclear Team for more information about the nuclear sector in Japan.

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Article by the Nuclear Team, British Embassy Tokyo, August 2015.