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Put state in charge of TEPCO’s plan for reactor restarts

17 3 0

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has indicated it may decommission at least one aging idle reactor at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture if it can restart two new reactors at the site.

TEPCO said it will start taking “steps within five years" that could result in the decommissioning of one or more of the No. 1 to No. 5 reactors after two newer and more powerful reactors, the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors, are brought back on stream.

The company, operator of the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, has been seeking to restart the two reactors after they passed safety screenings implemented by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Masahiro Sakurai, the mayor of Kashiwazaki, home to the seven-reactor plant, has demanded that the utility present a decommissioning plan for the other five reactors as a condition to agreeing to the restarts of the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors. TEPCO’s announcement was a response to Sakurai’s demand.

In touching on the possibility of decommissioning for the first time, TEPCO did not go into specifics. Instead, the utility's announcement seemed designed to put pressure on the city to allow the two reactors to be restarted as an initial step. That is a baffling attitude.

In 2017, when the NRA’s screenings of the No. 6........

© The Asahi Shimbun