Shared Use Eyed for N-Fuel Facility in Northeastern Japan

Economy

Tokyo, Dec. 10 (Jiji Press)--The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan is considering a plan for member power suppliers that have nuclear power plants to jointly use a temporary storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in the city of Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, it was learned Thursday.

The Mutsu facility is held by Recyclable-Fuel Storage Co., which is jointly owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.<9501> and Japan Atomic Power Co. Recyclable-Fuel Storage aims to launch the facility's operations in fiscal 2021, which starts next April.

The federation is in talks with parties including TEPCO on allowing power firms other than TEPCO and Japan Atomic Power as well to use the temporary spent fuel storage facility if they pay fees, informed sources said.

The joint use initiative is partly aimed at supporting Kansai Electric Power Co. <9503>, according to the sources. The Fukui prefectural government is urging Kansai Electric, which has nuclear plants in the central Japan prefecture, to show by the end of this year a candidate site outside of the prefecture for temporary storage of spent nuclear fuel.

Selecting a candidate location early is a key challenge for Kansai Electric, which heavily relies on nuclear power generation, because it is a condition for local authorities to decide whether to approve the restart of the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the firm's Takahama nuclear plant and the No. 3 reactor at its Mihama plant, all of which have seen more than 40 years pass since the launch of their operations.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press