Energy / Climate Change

January 23, 2004


Three Power Firms Give Up Plans for Nuclear Plant in Suzu

Keywords: Non-manufacturing industry Nuclear Power 

Three major Japanese power companies, Kansai Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co., and Hokuriku Electric Power Co., have announced that they would abandon their joint plan to build a nuclear power plant in Suzu, a coastal city in Ishikawa Prefecture, facing the Sea of Japan.

The Suzu project emerged in 1975 when the municipal government declared its intention to host a nuclear power plant to promote local development. Negotiations for the plant location, however, have been tough because of strong opposition from local people, and feasibility studies were suspended in 1989.

Over the past 28 years, power demand has declined due to changes in industrial structure, and electrical utilities have been deregulated. In the end, the companies made a management decision to give up the project, after considering the costly and time-consuming process of building a nuclear power plant, the increasing costs of dealing with spent fuel and decommissioned reactors, and mounting consumer distrust of nuclear facilities resulting from cover-ups of problems by Tokyo Electric Power Co. in 2002.

Chugoku Electric Power Co. had already abandoned plans to build a nuclear power plant in Hohoku, Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1994, and Chubu Electric Power Co. abandoned plans for one in Ashihama, Mie Prefecture in 2000. In both cases the decision was a result of strong local opposition. The decision in Suzu is the first case in Japan that a power company scrapped a proposed nuclear plant for economic reasons.

Posted: 2004/01/23 08:56:41 AM
Japanese version