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Friday, May 20, 2011

TEPCO Board Meeting

TEPCO has made a press release stating the fact that at a meeting of the board of directors of the company, TEPCO has decided to decommission Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 through No. 4 and has also decided not to build the planned No. 7 and No. 8 plants at the site.

That's old news... look at this post from this blog dated April 17.

What is interesting about this press release is the fact that Fukushima No. 5 and No. 6 are not mentioned. I noted in the post I linked above that the long-term TEPCO plan released for the press did in fact mention defueling of No. 5 and No. 6 plants. TEPCO has, as of yet, not come out one way or another solidly in a public manner with a determination on these two plants. The TEPCO plan document (pdf) I referenced in the above post included 5 and 6 but this was never otherwise publicly commented on by TEPCO that I saw; now, this report from the board of directors totally fails to mention these two plants one way or the other except to say that they are successfully in cold shutdown and are compared in status to the four plants at Fukushima Daini.

Can it be that TEPCO is still considering returning these two plants to operation? That would be an incredible revelation -- not for any technical reason, but for the simple fact that TEPCO would obviously be so totally clueless about public perception if that were their thinking. Surely the Fukushima Prefectural Government will never allow it.

Below, the full text of the TEPCO press release, dated May 20, 2011.

We deeply apologize for the anxiety and inconvenience caused to local
residents near the site and broader society due to the accident at
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused by the Tohoku-Chihou-
Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake that occurred on March 11 2011.
Today, we held a Board of Directors meeting where it was decided to
decommission Units 1 to 4 and abolish plans to build Units 7 and 8 at
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was severely damaged due to the
Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake and the tsunami that followed
after. In particular, the melting of the fuel pellets inside Units 1 to
4 caused them significant damage. This was followed by a series of
explosions. Hence, the decision to decommission them was made.
Furthermore, in consideration of the societal impact, we believe that
it would be very difficult to gain acceptance from local residents with
regards to building additional Units 7 and 8 and therefore, decided to
abolish their construction plans.
In regard to procedures for filing applications to the government in
connection with the said determination to decommission and abolish, we
will continue to consult with the government and relevant authorities.
Moreover, the reactors of Units 5 and 6 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear
Power Station, together with the reactors of Fukushima Daini Nuclear
Power Station, have been successfully brought to a cold shutdown.
However, a detailed investigation is still pending. For the time being,
we will take appropriate measures in a timely manner to keep the reactors
in a cold shutdown.

5:40 AM Eastern Friday 5/20


  1. If you look at this video, at the end at 2:22 (Shimizu is visiting Fukushima governor Yuhei Sato, who says as follows:


    "One more thing about the situation: re-opening (the plant) will not happen. There is no way we will let you re-operate the plant again. It just cannot be."

  2. Silence is indeed golden on the two undamaged reactors. There is no practical prospect of restarting them right now, but in a year or two it might be possible. And why not - what is so desirable about destroying functional infrastructure? Infrastructure, indeed, that has proven itself under extreme conditions. And that would improve Tepco's financial ability to compensate and remediate. In fact perhaps they could be restarted on a trust-fund basis.

    On a related note - do you think that Daini is bracketed in the "never restart" category also?

  3. Further to my above, I should add that any earthquake-scrammed reactor would need detailed inspection before restart, which would probably include unloading the fuel.

  4. At some point SOMEONE in Japan has got to raise their head and announce a new plant if Japan hasn't been scared off the nuclear road like Germany. How long can they keep shying the issue while importing oil and perching windmills on Mt. Fuji will be interesting to see.

  5. That's a political question which Japanese society has to answer as a whole. I notice more and more talkshows (not on NHK of course) where people are saying, if a country like Germany can do it, why can't we? Good question. The event is still ongoing and more details emerging. Campaigning for more nuclear power would be political suicide right now.