Japan

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • An independent review of lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear plants in the aftermath of last year’s earthquake and tsunami, conducted by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations at the request of Tokyo Electric Power Co., says that reactor operators should allocate resources and training to prepare for unexpected circumstances. Priorities identified include maintaining reactor cooling and multi-unit emergency response capabilities and continually strengthening nuclear safety cultures. Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, said, “For the U.S. nuclear industry, our first priority is and always will be safety. INPO’s findings are aligned with steps already being taken to enhance safety across our industry.”
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency is leading a “seismic study mission” to collect data about the effects of the 2011 earthquake on Japan’s Onagawa Nuclear Power Station. IAEA said the mission will include regulators from different countries and other experts. The goal of the trip is to collect information that member nations can use as they develop their own earthquake preparedness and response plans.
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Last November, we told you about how the employees at the Onagawa nuclear energy facility in Japan played a critical role in sheltering local residents in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck the island nation.

While the Onagawa facility remains safely shut down, its employees are still at work preparing for the day when the plant may come back online. In this video report from NHK World, Onagawa’s employees are participating in a tsunami drill using new equipment acquired in the aftermath of the accident at Fukushima. In other news, a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency will be visiting Onagawa next week to begin a seismic inspection.

The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

A new Japanese government investigation of the Fukushima accident says that national and local organizations were ill-prepared for a large-scale and complex natural disaster such as last year’s earthquake and tsunami, leading to more severe accident consequences than would otherwise have been the case.

The study was commissioned in May 2011 by the cabinet and is the latest of several investigations into the accident that have been conducted in Japan by, among others, Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., the country’s parliament and its nuclear regulator.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Kansai Electric Power Co. last week restarted a second reactor at its Ohi nuclear energy facility in Fukui prefecture. The company said Ohi reactor 4 should reach full power this week. Reactor 3, the first in the country to restart since the Fukushima accident, attained full power operations July 9. The government said it planned to partially lift power-saving restrictions in western Japan though it still would encourage voluntary measures especially if summer temperatures are above normal.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First