Tohoku Electric Shelves Plan to Build Nuclear Plant in FukushimaTsuyoshi Inajima
Tohoku Electric Power Co., power supplier to the areas most devastated by 2011’s quake and tsunami, scrapped plans to build a new nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture amid opposition from local towns.
The Miyagi-based utility widened its net loss forecast for the year ending March 31 to 105 billion yen ($1.1 billion) from an earlier projection of 100 billion yen after dropping the 825 megawatt Namie-Odaka plant, it said in a statement today. The company will book about 18 billion yen as a one-time charge for this fiscal year because of the cancellation, it said.
The Fukushima government pledged to end its dependence on nuclear power after the magnitude-9 quake and ensuing tsunami caused meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station, forcing about 160,000 people to evacuate. Namie town and Minamisoma city lawmakers had called for abandoning the plan to build the Namie-Odaka reactor in their neighborhood, according to the utility.
Before the Fukushima disaster, the utility had planned to start operations of the Namie-Odaka plant in fiscal 2021. Construction was scheduled to start in fiscal 2016 under the earlier plan, it said in a statement today.
Tohoku Electric reaffirmed plans to build the No. 2 reactor at its Higashidori nuclear plant in a power plant development plan released today while noting that it’s “uncertain” when construction and operations will begin.
“We still believe nuclear is a necessary source of electricity,” Takashi Suzuki, a Tohoku Electric spokesman, said by phone today. The utility will work on restarting idled reactors at Higashidori and Onagawa plants, he said.
The utility expects to restart the No. 1 Higashidori reactor in July 2015 and the Onagawa plant as early as April 2016, it said in February.