Japan Nuclear Update December 2014

Read our latest update from the Nuclear Team at the British Embassy in Tokyo.

1. Latest on Nuclear restarts, and current status of all nuclear reactors in Japan
2. Political Situation in Japan
3. Decommissioning
4. International Collaborative Research Centre on Decommissioning

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1. Nuclear Restarts in Japan

The current status of nuclear reactors in Japan is as follows:

There is a small chance that nuclear reactors Sendai-1 and 2 in Kagoshima prefecture will have completed the necessary processes in time to be switched on in February, although the expected timeframe is May 2015.

METI are currently reviewing the current system for providing grants to local governments that host nuclear power plants. They may decide to increase grants to local governments hosting nuclear plants that have been put back online and decreasing grants to those hosting plants that remain offline.

2. Political Situation in Japan

Following the recent announcement of Japan going into recession was Abe’s call for a snap election. Abe has won a new term, which means there will be no change in nuclear policy. Restarts will happen as and when reactors complete the necessary processes.

3. Decommissioning and Japanese Participation in Events in the UK

  • Reactors other than those at Fukushima Dai-ichi are starting to be mentioned as potentially being decommissioned. Nothing has been confirmed as yet, but older plants are most likely to be put into decommissioning.
  • As reactors are not running, utilities are in financial difficulty. Thus, there is less money for decommissioning, including planning work. There is a lot of positioning work going on for the decommissioning work that will inevitably come.
  • IRID’s next request for proposals is likely to be on transport, manipulators and robotics, however, no dates have been announced thus far.
  • Japanese companies will be attending the Civil Nuclear Showcase in the UK from the 27th to the 29th of January 2015, and there will be opportunities for 1:1 meetings. Please register on the website if you wish to attend.

4. An International Collaborative Research Centre on Decommissioning

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) will be setting up a research centre on decommissioning, funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). More details can be found by following the link: http://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000051398.pdf

Planning is at an early stage, however, the UK is one of the prime countries Japan is expecting to collaborate with. Please refer to our Current Opportunities page for the latest business opportunities, and watch our video with John Clarke, CEO of the NDA, to find out how UK companies can get involved in the decommissioning process.


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