Shikoku Electric Power Company's plans to decommission unit 1 of its Ikata NPP in Ehime prefecture were approved by Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) on 29 June. The 538MWe pressurised water reactor, which was due to end its 40-year operating period in September, decided not to apply to NRA to extend its licence for a further 20 years, which would have meant investing in upgrade work.
Ikata 1, which entered commercial operation in September 1977, was taken offline in September 2011 for periodic inspections. It is the sixth reactor approved for decommissioning since new more stringent regulations were introduced in 2012, following the 2011 Fukushima accident.
According to The Mainichi, Shikoku plans to take around 40 years to complete decommissioning of the unit at an estimated cost of JPY40.7bn ($363m). Low-level radioactive waste produced during the decommissioning work is estimated to total 3,060 tonnes, in addition to 39,100 tonnes of waste not classified as radioactive material. Used fuel will be stored in a pool at unit 3 of plant. According to the Ikata-1 plan, decommissioning will be completed by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2056. Preparation for dismantling will take place from FY17 to FY26, and dismantling work will begin in FY27.
Five other reactors have been approved for decommissioning, including Kansai Electric Power Company's Mihama 1&2, Japan Atomic Power Company's Tsuruga 1, Chugoku Electric Power Company's Shimane 1, and Kyushu Electric Power Company's Genkai 1.