Sellafield and Tepco representative sign information sharing agreement
Sellafield and Tepco representative sign information sharing agreement TEPCO

Sellafield, the Cumbria-based nuclear site, has agreed to help Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) in its cleanup at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station which was severely damaged by the tsunami and earthquake in March 2011.

The companies signed an information-sharing agreement in a ceremony at University College London, under which they will assist each other. The ceremony was attended by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is visiting London.

Japan's largest power company Tepco earlier established the Tepco Fukushima Daiichi D&D Engineering Company (FDEC) to take care of the cleaning at the power station.

Sellafield has plenty of decommissioning expertise and manages nuclear waste activities on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). It is owned by a consortium of American, British and French companies known as Nuclear Management Partners.

"I believe this would be a significant event to safely and promptly implement the decommissioning and address water issues at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station," said Naohiro Masuda, head of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi D& D Engineering Company.

"From now on, we expect to carry out safe and effective decommissioning at each site, by openly exchanging information regarding the similar challenges both sites face."

"We have much that we can help the Japanese with initially, as the move their focus from power generation to cleaning up and decommissioning," said Sellafield managing director, Tony Price.

"There are many similar challenges that we'll be facing on our sites over the coming years and we can share our experiences, access to our supply chains and any advancements that come in the future. This will make sure we are both better equipped to deliver our respective missions."

In March 2011, Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami, resulting in the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

In order to prevent leakage into the Pacific Ocean, Tepco has been storing a vast amount of radio-active water in a growing number of containers. The company has struggled with the radio-active water management and has reported a number of leaks last year.

About 300 tons of highly radio-active groundwater seep into the ocean each day due to the disaster, according to the Japanese government.