Planned nuke plant site in Namie town eyed for hydrogen production base

19 March 2017

The site of a major hydrogen production facility to be built in Fukushima Prefecture will likely be located at a site in Namie town where a nuclear power plant was once planned. The hydrogen project is part of the national government’s drive to set up a hydrogen production base somewhere in prefectural areas affected by the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant. The central and Fukushima prefectural governments as well as other parties concerned are finalizing the location of one of the world’s largest hydrogen production plants under the “Fukushima New Energy-Oriented Society Scheme.”

The planned site, some 30 hectares wide, is part of an area measuring about 120 hectares which straddles Namie town and the Odaka district of Minamisoma city. Tohoku Electric Power Co., which once planned to build a Namie-Odaka nuclear plant, is to transfer ownership of the land to the town free of charge. The hydrogen project envisages the start of supply by 2020.

The former planned nuclear plant site is in a Pacific coastal zone being prepared for the lifting of an evacuation order issued after the accident. The order is to be removed on March 31. The site has emerged as an optimum place for the projected hydrogen-manufacturing base as it is spacious enough and cost cuts are expected due to the prospect of no land acquisition expense being incurred.

Priority will be given to the development of a land plot measuring about 5 hectares as a hydrogen production plant site to realize supply to the metropolitan area before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. As for the remaining 25 hectares, the top candidate plan calls for developing solar power and other renewable energy facilities in a phased manner to generate electricity for hydrogen production.

(Translated by Kyodo News)