Japan

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s nuclear utilities and vendors have created a new group called the Japan Nuclear Safety Institute (JANSI), which the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said is modeled on the U.S. Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the World Association of Nuclear Operators. Makoto Yagi, FEPC’s chairman and president of Kansai Electric Power Co., said last week JANSI was created to further improve nuclear power plant safety and to “ensure the completeness of severe accident management measures based on lessons learned from the Fukushima accident.” Yagi said that JANSI, like INPO, will give utility executives advice and recommendations on operations. The agency will seek guidance and peer review from both INPO and WANO. JANSI’s membership will comprise 123 companies, Yagi added.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s new two-year business plan, released last week, projects that costs for decontaminating the area around Fukushima Daiichi and paying damages to evacuated residents will double from the $62.5 billion estimate from April. The company also expects the $12.5 billion estimated cost for decommissioning the facility to increase significantly. TEPCO is asking the government to review the revised business plan and for continued financial support to meet its obligations. In May, the government assumed 51 percent control of the utility’s shares, in return for allocating funds and assistance for compensation and decontamination.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is investigating whether Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi nuclear plant—the only operating facility in the country—is on an active fault line. The NRA heard last week from a group of experts who have surveyed the fissure. The agency has yet to decide whether the fissure in a 125,000-year-old rock stratum came from seismic activity or if it was caused by a landslide. The Japanese government bans nuclear plant operators from building facilities directly above active fault lines. The NRA said if the Ohi fissure is confirmed to be an active fault, it will halt the plant’s operations.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The operators of U.S. nuclear energy facilities last week approved a contract to develop two regional response centers that will store emergency equipment for rapid delivery in case of an extreme event at any nuclear plant. “The regional response centers will further increase the industry’s preparedness for severe challenges, regardless of their causes,” said Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s chief nuclear officer. “This is another example of the industry’s commitment to learn the lessons from the Fukushima accident in Japan and apply those lessons to enhance safety across the U.S. nuclear energy industry.” The centers will be located near Memphis and Phoenix and will be managed by Pooled Equipment Inventory Co.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • AREVA has announced a contract to provide all 23 of Japan’s pressurized water reactors with passive autocatalytic recombiners, which will help prevent hydrogen from building up in emergency situations. The company said it will install more than 100 of the devices, which work constantly to oxidize traces of hydrogen into steam catalytically. The devices are not dependent on external power or operator intervention. AREVA says it has installed the recombiners in more than 140 plants worldwide. No Japanese facilities currently have the equipment. At the Fukushima Daiichi facility last year, hydrogen buildup from the oxidation of zirconium cladding in steam led to explosions that caused extensive damage.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First