The head of METI mentioned during discussions about TEPCO obtaining new bank financing that Fukushima Daini should be decommissioned. He cited the feelings of local residents as the reason. Ironically this same sentiment isn’t applied to local residents around other nuclear plants, including others run by TEPCO.
What is more likely is that scrapping Daini and Daiichi units 5-6 gives TEPCO some strategic business advantage that appeals to the big banks loaning them money. On top of having to pass new government standards for nuclear plants, reactors at Daini would also need more repairs than have already been done at the plant. TEPCO has been doing investigative work at unit 4 Daini in recent months. They have not admitted finding anything significant but TEPCO also hasn’t released a report since they removed the reactor covers on the unit. TEPCO also began the process to remove fuel at units 5 and 6 at Daiichi in recent months. TEPCO has not reported findings on that either. METI has urged TEPCO to decommission those units also.
Japan’s big banks are planning to give TEPCO 500 billion yen in financing in December. Based on past behavior by TEPCO, expect anything they do between now and then to be done with investors and the big banks view of TEPCO’s creditworthiness in mind. It is possible TEPCO found something difficult to repair on their inspections of these other reactors in Fukushima and is presenting this as a business decision to not restart them, rather than admitting the damage to these other units.
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