TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power plans to scrap its Fukushima Daini nuclear station, located a few miles south of the bigger Fukushima Daiichi plant where three reactors melted down in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.
Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of Tepco, as the company is called, will visit the governor of Fukushima prefecture on Wednesday to convey the plan and its board will formally approve the decision later this month, Kyodo said, without citing sources.
Three reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, which had six reactors and is located about 12 kilometres (7 miles) north of Fukushima Daini, suffered meltdowns after the giant March 2011 earthquake and tsunami shut down the plant’s cooling systems.
The Daini station also came close to a disaster, but retained enough backup power to keep cooling going. Successive Fukushima governors have called for it to be scrapped.
A Tepco spokesman told Reuters by phone that nothing has been decided on the issue.
Scrapping the Daini station will leave Tepco with just one potentially operational nuclear station, Kawazaki Kariwa, where it is trying to get two reactors returned to service under new safety regulations against strong local opposition.
It will also leave Japan with 33 reactors, compared with 54 before the disaster: Many operators decided to scrap older units that would cost too much to meet new safety standards imposed after the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl in 1986.
A Reuters analysis last year showed it was unlikely that Daini would ever restart. Japan has eight reactors operating and many are still going through a relicensing process under the new standards.
(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)