Challenges of TEPCO

  1. Energy & Resources
  2. Environment & Community

Tight control of SOx and NOx emissions from power generation

Thermal power plants emit air pollutants such as Sulfur oxides (SOx) and Nitrogen oxides (NOx) when they burn fuel.
To control the emission of these substances as effectively as possible, TEPCO is approaching the issue from the three perspectives of fuel, facilities, and operations. Owing to these measures, we are maintaining emission levels that are extremely low even by global standards.

Outline of air pollution prevention measures in thermal power stations

International comparison of SOx and NOx emission intensities (average of thermal power stations)

(Note) TEPCO figures represent FY2009 TEPCO performance. Figures for Japan are FY2008 values (based on a survey by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan). Figures for the other 6 countries are 2005 values. TEPCO’s SOx emission intensity was 0.14 and NOx emission intensity was 0.18 in FY2008 and FY2005. Source:Calculated based on OECD, “OECD Environmental Data Compendium 2006/2007”; and IEA, “Energy Balances of OECD Countries 2010 Edition”

Proper storage and detoxification of PCB* waste

TEPCO takes the proper steps to properly store and manage PCB waste in its facilities in compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and is systematically implementing detoxification plans.

* PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls)
Organic compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine. As they do not decompose naturally, they tend to accumulate in the fatty tissue of organisms. The toxicity of PCBs came to light in the 1968 Kanemi Oil Poisoning Case, which led to a termination of PCB production in 1972.

Remaining number of PCB-contaminated devices, number of devices treated, and future treatment targets (as of March 31, 2010)

  Treatment Remaining number of devices Number of devices treated
& future treatment target
devices originally contained PCB insulating oil Approx. 3,700 Transformers and condensers*1
(77 units have already been outsourced)
Treatment outsourced to the Japan Environmental Safety Corporation (JESCO) Treatment as planned
devices inadvertently containing PCB Treated by TEPCO facilities and undertaken by JESCO*2 Approx. 620,000 pole transformers Housing: 480,000 units have been treated by washing. Treatment target: approx. 100,000 units per year
Insulating oil: 28,000 kl have been treated.
Treatment target for TEPCO facilities: approx. 3,000 kl per year
*1 Not include devices weighing less than 10 kg.
*2 Insulation oil from the Tokyo region is separately treated by JESCO's Tokyo facility (low-concentration PCB treatment facility).

Detoxification of PCB waste

Since discovering that some of the insulating oil used in pole transformers contains trace amounts of PCB that should not be present in the first place, TEPCO has been systematically treating the transformers and oil at its 3 recycling centers and outsourcing the treatment of insulating oil from units within the Tokyo metropolitan area to JESCO's Tokyo Plant. The insulating oil that has been detoxified at TEPCO's facilities is thermally recycled* as fuel for generating power, and the transformer housing is washed and its parts reused as raw material for steel/copper and roadbed material.

Since FY2008, TEPCO has subcontracted the treatment of devices that contain PCB as insulating oil to JESCO, and has treated 289 devices as of FY2009.

* Thermal recycling
The process of reusing the heat energy that is released when burning recovered waste.

Treatment of insulating oil inadvertently containing PCB and washing treatment of transformer housing (cumulative)

(Note) Figures for FY2005 and on include amounts treated at JESCO’s Tokyo Plant.

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