JAPAN ATOMIC INDUSTRIAL FORUM, INC.

for Japanese

ATOMS in JAPAN

20 June, 2018

Fukui Governor Castigates NRA Chairman over Slow Examinations

On June 18, Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) exchanged views in Tokyo with Governor Issei Nishikawa of Fukui Prefecture. The meeting was scheduled as an opportunity for the NRA to hear the wishes of the local municipality prior to the start of decommissioning of the prototype fast breeder reactor (FBR) Monju in Fukui Prefecture.

Governor Nishikawa, however, used the meeting to voice his dissatisfaction with such matters as the examinations that NRA conducts before restarting nuclear power plants (NPPs). “The examination process does not take time into consideration,” he said. “Delays in the examinations have adversely affected local municipalities’ abilities to take economic and employment measures, which troubles us extremely. The examinations focus on documents in Tokyo, far from the actual sites.”

 

Currently, various municipalities in Japan are starting to require power companies to obtain consent from additional parties before restarting NPPs—that is, bringing in other municipalities in addition to the siting areas themselves. The governor called the arguments in favor of doing so “superficial,” adding that those additional parties “could not understand the actual conditions of the communities hosting the NPPs.”
Fuketa acknowledged that there were issues related to the NRA’s examinations, but argued that it was very important “not only for the industry but for the regulatory authority to secure good human resources,” implying that merely increasing the number of personnel so as to expedite the examinations was not enough. He also said that a common understanding with operators was necessary for the examination process to proceed. 
He went on to say that the NRA would treat operators as “grown-ups” and establish proper relationships with them, so that they might approach safety “on their own terms.” It would not be desirable, he said, for operators to do only “what they are told” by the NRA, as that would be “quite dangerous for improving safety.” He distinguished between examination-related matters and any sense of economy, showing the NRA’s uncompromising stance on that question.
In March, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), which operates the FBR Monju, received the NRA’s approval for its decommissioning plan, enabling it to  start the work. In the latest session, the governor asked NRA as the regulatory authority to strengthen its surveillance of the site.
Given Monju’s special nature and construction—its sodium coolant burns violently when exposed to air or water—its decommissioning is expected to be difficult. According to the plan, spent fuel will begin to be removed next month (July 2018). The decommissioning process is then expected to take some thirty years after that, until FY47.

Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SNS facebooktwitter

NPPs Map

Video

Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R)

9 August, 2018
Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R)01:38

Recent News

13 September, 2018
NRA Chairman Rebuts Idea that Hokkaido Blackouts Could Have Been Averted Had Tomari NPPs Been Restarted
12 September, 2018
JAEC Chairman Oka Give High Marks to the IAEA Joint Nuclear Energy Management School
10 September, 2018
NRA Chairman Worried that Tritium Water Storage Would Complicate Fukushima Daiichi Decommissioning
10 September, 2018
Explanatory Meetings and Public Hearings Held on Handling of Tritium Water in Tomioka, Koriyama and Tokyo
30 August, 2018
Preparations Continue to Remove Spent Nuclear Fuel from Unit 3 at Fukushima Daiichi
30 August, 2018
International Mentoring Workshop in Science and Engineering for Women Held in Tokyo
16 August, 2018
Chugoku Electric Applies for Shimane-3 Safety Examination: Second for a Reactor under Construction after Ohma NPP
16 August, 2018
International Forum on Decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi Highlights Remotely-Operated Systems
26 July, 2018
J-Village Stadium to Revert to Original Role as Soccer Training Center, Having Contributed to the Stabilization of Fukushima Daiichi
20 July, 2018
Japan-IAEA Joint Nuclear Energy Management School Opens for 2018, Developing Next Generation of Young Professionals
▲TOP