Japanese utilities co-operate to reduce costs

11 August 2016

Japan’s Hokuriku Electric Power Company has become the fifth power utility in western Japan to join a cooperative venture which aims to support nuclear operators facing the increased financial burden of additional safety measures imposed after the Fukushima-Daiichi accident and long-term decommissioning projects. In April 2016, Kansai Electric Power Company, Kyushu Electric Power Company, Chugoku Electric Power Company and Shikoku Electric Power Company agreed to cooperate in a number of “broad areas of concern”, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) said.

Those areas include safety measures, decommissioning and severe accident response. Hokuriku Electric has been carrying out work on safety measures at its two-unit Shika NPP to bring it in line with post-Fukushima standards. The company will have to invest between $1.47bn and $1.96bn by the end of the current fiscal year in unit 2 and those parts of the station common to the two units. By the end of the previous fiscal year, on 31 March 2016, the company had already spent some $590m on plant upgrades. Future decommissioning costs are estimated at approximately $1.24bn for both units. According to Jaif, Hokuriku Electric hopes to reduce those costs by working with the other four power companies.

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