April 25, 2016
TOKYO, April 25, 2016 — Kobe Steel, Ltd. and Sweden’s Studsvik AB have entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture in Japan focused on providing waste management solutions to the Japanese nuclear industry.
The joint venture will provide technology and processes to effectively recycle metals and safely reduce radioactive waste. Japan faces challenges in radioactive waste treatment arising from the decommissioning of nuclear power plants. The joint venture will enable the two companies to more actively promote their services in a unified manner. The companies now plan to proceed with the establishment of the joint venture.
The joint venture will be called KOBELCO STUDSVIK Co., Ltd. Kobe Steel will have a 51-percent equity share, while Studsvik will hold 49 percent. KOBELCO STUDSVIK will undertake commissioned work and marketing for the overseas treatment and recycling of metals. It will also treat metals, and design and license recycling facilities. Furthermore, KOBELCO STUDSVIK will design and license high-concentration radioactive waste treatment processes.
The Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 facilitated the move to decommission aging nuclear power plants in Japan. As a large amount of radioactive waste is generated during dismantling work of the decommissioned nuclear power plants, treatment and disposal of the waste is necessary.
Since forming a business alliance in 2005, Kobe Steel and Studsvik have been carrying out marketing and research on solving the problems of treating and disposing radioactive waste in Japan. To more actively engage in this field, the two companies decided to establish a joint venture.
Kobe Steel’s Engineering Business has developed treatment and disposal technologies mainly in the back-end field1 of the nuclear power industry. Kobe Steel has over 30 years of experience in radioactive waste treatment and disposal, storage facilities, and transport and storage casks for nuclear spent fuel.
In Sweden, where the effective re-use of resources has socially taken root, metals in components for nuclear power plants are safely recycled. Studsvik, which began in 1947 as a government-run organization, has grown into a world-leading supplier of services to the nuclear power industry. In the 1990s, Studsvik was privatized and expanded its business to the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. In Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom, Studsvik has many years of experience in the safe development and implementation of effective waste management solutions.
The joint venture will draw on the experiences of Kobe Steel and Studsvik. Responding to issues concerning the treatment and disposal of radioactive waste generated from decommissioned nuclear power plants, the joint venture aims to contribute to society.
In contrast to the front-end field of fuel production and power plant construction and operation, the back-end field covers the treatment of radioactive waste, nuclear fuel recycling and other post-treatment, and business concerning decommissioned nuclear power plants.
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