Nukewatch Quarterly Spring 2015
In the ever-expanding wake of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, in January the Japanese nuclear industry announced preliminary plans to permanently close five more of the country’s nuclear facilities. So far, in the four years since the disaster, Japan has maintained “zero nuclear” power generation. This decommissioning announcement reduces the number of the country’s operable (but suspended) reactors to 43. All six units at Fukushima Daiichi have been permanently closed, including Units 1 through 4 which were destroyed in the March 2011 accident, as well as the undamaged Units 5 and 6.
Two of the newly announced closures are Shimane Unit 1 and Tsuruga Unit 1, both GE Mark I boiling water reactors identical to Fukushima Units 1-5. The other three reactors, Genkai Unit 1 and Mihama Units 1 and 2, are aging pressurized water reactors. Company officials with Kyushu Electric, Kansai Electric, Chugoku Electric and Japan Atomic Power Company decided to decommission the reactors rather than comply with newly required expensive safety upgrades.
—Beyond Nuclear, Press Release, Jan. 15, 2015
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