TEPCO mulling request to shut Niigata reactors

TEPCO mulling request to shut Niigata reactors

The president of Tokyo Electric Power Company says the utility is considering scrapping some of the reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, at the request of one of the 2 municipalities that host the nuclear facility.

TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa revealed for first time the request is under consideration during a meeting with Kashiwazaki Mayor Masahiro Sakurai. The pair met in the Niigata Prefecture city located on the Japan Sea coast on Thursday.

Last year, Sakurai called on the plant's operator to submit a concrete plan by next June to decommission one or more of reactors 1 through 5 as a condition for restarting reactors 6 and 7. Japan's nuclear regulators endorsed safety measures for the restart of the 2 reactors last year.
The mayor said that running 7 reactors at one location is too risky.

Kobayakawa indicated that TEPCO will weigh the discussion on the matter between the firm and the city.

Sakurai said he trusts Kobayakawa based on what he heard in the meeting.

After the meeting, Kobayakawa did not mention any specifics of the plan to reporters. He said there are still many options to be considered.