Business / Corporate

Tepco and three other companies considering joint firm to build nuclear power plant in Aomori

JIJI

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and three other companies are considering jointly setting up a new firm to construct and manage a planned nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture, informed sources said Thursday.

The three partners are Chubu Electric Power Co., Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp., the sources said.

Under the plan, the new company will build and run a new nuclear plant next to Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Higashidori nuclear facility, which has been idle since the triple core meltdown at Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 plant.

Tepco had been building a new plant at the Higashidori site but suspended construction in the wake of the 2011 disaster.

The move by the four companies may lead to a realignment of the nuclear power industry.

The four firms have experience managing or supplying boiling-water nuclear reactors (BWR), the same type used in the Fukushima plant.

The joint plan was proposed by Tepco during talks on possible cooperation in the nuclear power business that the four companies started last August.

Since the Fukushima disaster, progress has been made on reactivating pressurized-water nuclear reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. By contrast, no BWRs have been restarted.

Tepco, Chubu Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba aim to share know-how on managing BWRs in a bid to maintain related human resources and expertise, the sources said.

Hitachi has frozen its nuclear plant construction program in Britain, while Toshiba withdrew from nuclear plant construction overseas.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5