A new organization called the Atomic Energy Association (ATENA) will be established on July 1, the purpose of which will be to mobilize the information and resources of the entire Japanese nuclear industry to achieve substantive safety improvements.
Since April, the Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) and the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (JEMA) have taken the initiative in preparing for the organization’s launch. There will be 19 initial members, including corporations (power companies and vendors) and various organizations.
At the organization’s monthly press briefing on July 15, FEPC Chairman Satoru Katsuno (also president of the Chubu Electric Power Co.) introduced Ei Kadokami, special advisor to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), as the first chairman of ATENA.
Saying that he would exercise his leadership toward “raising nuclear safety to a higher level,” Kadokami explained to the press the three roles of ATENA:
- Promoting the introduction of effective safety measures through efforts by the entire nuclear industry, focused on common issues.
- Engaging in dialogue with the regulatory authority and others for the common purpose of safety improvement.
- Communicating with stakeholders.
A steering council will be established within ATENA consisting of executive-level personnel from its member organizations, which will identify themes that the entire nuclear industry will work on for safety improvement.
Working groups including experts and specialists will then examine those themes from a technological point of view, and refer them back to the steering council, which will then formulate its conclusions into “technical reports” that will be made public. It will evaluate the responses of nuclear operators annually, and those assessments will also be released to the public.
During his years as an engineer at MHI, Kadokami served as an on-site leader for safety measures for pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Based on his firm belief that manufacturers must work together to introduce new safety measures, he plans to utilize his experiences as an engineer to see that ATENA’s activities take root across the industry.
Meanwhile, the Japan Nuclear Safety Institute (JANSI) held a regular general assembly on June 14 to approve organizational changes, naming William Edward Webster Jr.—previously executive advisor to JANSI and former vice president of the U.S. Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO)—as chairman.
In addition, Hiromi Yamazaki, former representative director of JANSI, was named its new president and CEO. Presidents of the country’s power companies were also named directors of JANSI, with the hope of increasing their involvement in its activities.