Plans for new nuclear plant construction scrapped

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Tohoku Electric first announced plans to construct the Namie-Odaka nuclear power plant 10 kilometers north of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in 1968.  After the proposed site was one of the areas hardest hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, local community assemblies began opposing the construction project until the utility was forced to scrap the plans.  Both the Namie and Minamisoma municipalities had passed resolutions which called for Tohoku Electric to cancel plans to build the Namie-Odaka nuclear power plant.

On Thursday, Tohoku Electric President Makoto Kaiwa met with Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato and communicated that Tohoku Electric would be scrapping the construction plans, given that so many evacuees are still unable to return to their homes in the area and are still forced to live in temporary housing.  “Given the feelings of local residents, the project is not feasible,” a Tohoku Electric official said.

The Namie-Odaka plant was to consist of one ABWR reactor, which was once thought to start construction by 2016 and come online in 2021.  In March of 2012, Tohoku Electric changed its schedule for the start of construction work from 2016 to “not yet determined”, because the central government had adopted a energy policy which marked the end of Japan’s reliance on nuclear power.  This is the first time that a nuclear power plant plan has been scrapped by a Japanese utility not involved with Fukushima Daiichi.  Tohoku Electric will lose some 18 billion yen as a one-time charge due to the cancellation.

Source: Bloomberg

Source: The Asahi Shimbun

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