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16 November, 2018

NRA Allows Tokai-2 to Be Operated for Sixty Years, a First for a BWR

On November 7, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) issued the final approval needed to extend the operating lifetime of the Tokai-2 Nuclear Power Plant (BWR, 1100MWe) by an additional twenty years. The plan is owned and operated by the Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC).

NRA has now approved lifetime extensions for three PWRs: the Takahama-1 and -2 NPPs and the Mihama-3 NPP, all owned and operated by the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP). The Tokai-2 NPP is the first BWR in Japan to have its lifetime extended. As part of the NRA’s safety examination under the country’s new regulatory standards, approval of revisions to the operational safety program came twenty days before expiration of the forty-year operational limit for the Tokai-2 NPP. All the legal requirements have now been met for restarting for Tokai-2, following the permission given in September 2018 to make changes to the reactor installation (i.e., the basic design approval), and the approval granted in October 2018 for the work plan (i.e., the detailed design approval). JAPC said that...more
7 November, 2018

National Nuclear Convention Held, Aiming to Reflect the Voices of Siting Areas

On October 31, a two-day meeting of the National Convention of Nuclear Siting Areas kicked off in Tokyo, under the theme of “Nuclear Power Safety and Utilization.” The meeting was sponsored by the National Nuclear Union, among others.

The purpose of the gathering was to enhance understanding on nuclear energy and related matters. It featured discussions among heads of siting municipalities, Diet members and members of women’s organizations, along with presentations by experts and specialists. The whole program aimed at reflecting the voices of siting areas in political discussions and strengthening cooperation. On the first day, the physicist Akito Arima (88), currently joint representative of the National Nuclear Union, and formerly the president of the University of Tokyo as well as the minister of education, delivered an opening speech at the Members Building of the Lower House of the Diet in Tokyo. Referring to increasing global concern over climate issues and the instability of renewable energies, Arima stres...more
17 October, 2018

Shikoku Electric Power Asks Japan’s NRA to Approve Ikata-2 Decommissioning Plan

On October 10, the Shikoku Electric Power Co. filed an application with the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan for approval of its decommissioning plan for the Ikata-2 Nuclear Power Plant (PWR, 566MWe). The power company also submitted requests to Ehime Prefecture and Ikata Town under the nuclear safety agreements that it has concluded with those governments for their preliminary agreements to the plan.

Ikata NPPsAs in the case of Ikata-1, the decommissioning of Ikata-2 will be carried out over a period of forty years, divided into four phases, in order to ensure that all the processes—investigating for adhered radioactive materials, and dismantling each facility—are carried out safely and smoothly. During the first phase of dismantling preparation, the 316 spent fuel assemblies stored in the unit will be separated into three areas: a dry storage facility on-site (scheduled to start operation in FY23, starting in April 2023), a spent fuel pit at the Ikata-3 NPP, and the reprocessing plant in Rokkasho Village. The 102 unused fuel assemblies, meanwhile, will be delivered to a fuel fabrication facility. Ikata-2 has not been operational since a periodic inspection was conducted in January 2012. W...more
10 October, 2018

The Implications of Removing the “Sun Child” Statue in Fukushima

By Sae Ochi

At the end of August, a decision was made to remove a statue—named “Sun Child”—that had been erected in Fukushima after the tsunami-caused nuclear accident of March 11, 2011. The statue depicts a boy who wears a yellow protective suit but no helmet. Looking up at the sky, he has a monitor on his chest with the counter set at "000." Six meters tall, the statue has provoked strong reactions among those who have seen it.

Dr. Sae OchiThe reason for its removal seems to be criticism from local residents. One person said, “It gives the impression that children used to wear protective suits back then.” Another resident commented, “It stokes fear that Fukushima has high levels of radiation.” Meanwhile, someone else remarked, “It would be impossible for the display to read ‘000’ since there is always some natural background radiation.” It is not clear if any of those views represent a majority of public opinion. Indeed, many people in the prefecture, while voicing their understanding of the feelings of the statue’s critics, personally wanted the piece to remain. In the end, the decision was that it had to go as long as it hurt some residents’ feelings. The issue inherent in this episode is not, I believe, whether Sun ...more

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Recent News

16 November, 2018
NRA Allows Tokai-2 to Be Operated for Sixty Years, a First for a BWR
7 November, 2018
National Nuclear Convention Held, Aiming to Reflect the Voices of Siting Areas
17 October, 2018
Shikoku Electric Power Asks Japan’s NRA to Approve Ikata-2 Decommissioning Plan
10 October, 2018
The Implications of Removing the “Sun Child” Statue in Fukushima
5 October, 2018
JAIF Press Briefing: President Takahashi Foresees Progress in BWR Examinations by NRA
28 September, 2018
NRA Approves Review Report Finding Tokai-2 NPP Compatible with New Regulatory Standards
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