Tepco 10-year plan for scrapping Fukushima No. 1 aims to get local firms involved

[Translated by the Japan Times]Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. is expected to disclose detailed 10-year plans for the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, including how much construction material they will have to order and the technology needed for the work, in hopes that it will make it easier for local businesses to get a piece of the pie. In the past, Tepco has disclosed three-year plans for orders and projects as part of the decommissioning work. But by disclosing a longer-term plan, Tepco hopes local companies will be able to develop that technology, making it possible for them to get orders from Tepco in the future. In April, Tepco plans to hold its first briefing session for prospective companies. The plant operator will also launch a designated section of the company in May to help local businesses discuss specifics. Since many companies have complained that they aren’t sure if they can get orders for the decommissioning project, Tepco hopes it will mitigate their concerns. Tepco is also considering cooperating with the public-private Fukushima Reconstruction Promotion Group and the Fukushima Innovation Coast Framework Promotion Organization. More details will be given in the future. Tepco is expected to place orders worth about  billion to  billion per year for the decommissioning. In the future, Tepco will also launch a similar project to help local businesses participate in the dismantling of the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant. The utility has stipulated in its decommissioning policy that it will help local companies secure orders for the project. Local companies are also eager to participate in the decommissioning of the No. 2 plant, which is likely to boost the local economy. About 30 members of a group aimed at helping local companies get orders for the decommissioning of the No. 2 plant met on March 28 and agreed to cooperate to gather information and nurture human resources. Comprising the towns of Naraha and Tomioka, local chambers of commerce, a local construction association and city development companies, the group hopes to create a corporation of local businesses, which would make it easier for them to be part of the project in the future. “It’s essential for Tepco and local companies where the nuclear power plants are located to cooperate with each other in making sure the plants be decommissioned as planned,’’ said Naraha Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto. Lower House member Masayoshi Yoshino, who represents the Fukushima No. 5 electoral district, and Tomioka Mayor Koichi Miyamoto were also present at the meeting. Kiyoshi Watanabe, chairman of Naraha’s chamber of commerce, was elected as the group’s chairman while Kazuyoshi Endo, chairman of Tomioka’s chamber of commerce, was elected vice chairman. Tepco estimates that the total decommissioning cost for the No. 2 nuclear plant will be more than billion. The group will gather more information on the topic and share it with member companies so that each of them will be able to gain the technology and qualifications necessary to be part of the dismantling. Tepco has drafted a 44-year road map toward dismantling the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant.