ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business

Hitachi revs up to dismantle Japanese nuclear power plants

Technology group starting with two reactors

Two reactors at the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture are slated for decommissioning.

TOKYO -- Hitachi will provide technology for decommissioning Japanese reactors in hopes of making gold out of the country's aging nuclear infrastructure, starting with two units at a Shizuoka Prefecture plant.

Chubu Electric Power recently awarded the Japanese technology conglomerate primary bargaining rights for equipment to remove radioactive material remaining at the Hamaoka Nuclear power plant's No. 1 and No. 2 reactors. The deal, to be officially inked later, is estimated at several billion yen (1 billion yen equals $8.98 million).

Hitachi will also aim to win orders for installation and related work from Chubu Electric, which estimates a roughly 90 billion yen tab for dismantling the two reactors.

Hitachi's infrastructure operation helped build 20 reactors at nine Japanese plants. The group is taking part in decommissioning the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, which suffered a catastrophic meltdown during the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Hamaoka's reactors represent the company's first such job outside the devastated Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings plant.

Toshiba supplied the Hamaoka reactors and was expected to win orders for cleanup equipment as well.

After Fukushima, nuclear plants across the country were hit with a blanket shutdown and no new power stations will be built in the foreseeable future. At the same time, power companies are busy dismantling nuclear plants, which creates an approximately 3 trillion yen market based on estimates by the utilities. By doing its reactor building in reverse, Hitachi aims to take the lead in capitalizing on that demand at a pace of one to two reactors a year.

The two Hamaoka units are among the roughly 30 boiling water reactors in Japan, which account for 60% of Japan's units. By building up its decommissioning know-how through the Chubu Electric deal, Hitachi would put itself in an enviable position to take on a host of other assignments.  

Apart from those at Fukushima Dai-ichi, nine Japanese reactors have been effectively slated for decommissioning. Other reactors, such as the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Kansai Electric Power's Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture, are about to hit their fourth decade in operation, a threshold for winding down.

In Japan, no commercial nuclear reactors have been completely dismantled, a situation Hitachi sees as a business opportunity. Rival Mitsubishi Heavy Industries established a division dedicated to the decommissioning business in 2015, and it is looking to assist Kansai Electric dismantle reactors at the Mihama plant, also in Fukui Prefecture.

(Nikkei)

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more