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20 September, 2018

62nd IAEA GC Opens: Japan’s Minister of State for Science Stresses National Policy of Reducing Plutonium Holdings

On September 17, the 62nd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) opened in Vienna for a five-day period of speeches and other events.

Masaji Matsuyama, Minister of State for Science and Technology PolicyIn a video message watched by the attendees, Director General Yukiya Amano emphasized the Agency’s responsibilities in nuclear nonproliferation, as well as its support for member countries in using nuclear energy for their development and growth. In his speech at the conference as the representative of the Japanese government, Masaji Matsuyama, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, talked about the North Korean nuclear issue. He said that Japan supported the reaffirmation of that country’s intention towards complete denuclearization—made at the June summit in Singapore held between United States President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un—as a step towards the comprehensive resolution of outstanding issues regarding that country. Japan calls for the international c...more
13 September, 2018

NRA Chairman Rebuts Idea that Hokkaido Blackouts Could Have Been Averted Had Tomari NPPs Been Restarted

At a regular press briefing on September 12, Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), referring to the effects of the recent massive earthquake in Hokkaido on the Tomari Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) located there, emphasized the principle of the new regulatory standards and the fact that power supplies must be secured without reliance on external sources.

Tomato-Atsuma coal power plantsThe earthquake, described officially as the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake, occurred during the pre-dawn hours of September 6, and caused widespread blackouts throughout the island. At the press briefing, Fuketa rebutted the idea that the blackouts would not have occurred had the NPPs been restarted, saying, “Confirming the safety of a nuclear plant and ensuring the power supply are two entirely separate issues. The NRA’s judgment will not be affected by other considerations.” On the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 0 to 7, the earthquake registered 7 at its epicenter in Atsuma Town, 5 in Sapporo City, and 2 in Tomari Village, the location of the Tomari NPPs (PWR x 3 units, 2070MWe total), owned and operated by the Hokkaido Electric Power Co. The operation of all three units at...more
12 September, 2018

JAEC Chairman Oka Give High Marks to the IAEA Joint Nuclear Energy Management School

The latest session of the Japan-IAEA Nuclear Energy Management (NEM) School was held from July 17 through August 2 at the University of Tokyo, as well as in Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures. The course is designed to foster nuclear management capabilities among young leaders, along with understanding in areas such as nuclear policies and regulation.

JAEC Chairman Yoshiaki OkaThis year, 26 students from Japan and 12 other countries participated in lectures and work groups, and also paid visits to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants and Fukushima Daini NPPs. Additionally, they carried out exchange activities with students at the National Institute of Technology, Fukushima College. At a regular meeting of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) on September 4, an overview of the school was presented by the chairman of its executive committee, Professor Mitsuru Uesaka of the Nuclear Professional School, which is part of the Department of Bioengineering within the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. Several distinctive changes that were made this year included the standardization of the curriculum through the introduction of the IAEA’s ...more
10 September, 2018

NRA Chairman Worried that Tritium Water Storage Would Complicate Fukushima Daiichi Decommissioning

At a regular press briefing on September 5, Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), said that his opinion about the handling of tritium water stored in tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants was to “wait and see,” following two days of public hearings on the subject at the end of August. “Given that a precise process is proceeding,” he said, “we are waiting to make a judgment.”

Incidentally, the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS)—the multi-nuclide removal equipment that purifies and treats contaminated water generated at the Fukushima Daiichi NPPs—cannot remove the tritium in the water, requiring another method. The public hearings on the handling of the tritium water were conducted by a task force of experts from Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) on August 30 in Tomioka Town (Fukushima Prefecture), and on August 31 in Koriyama City (Fukushima Prefecture) and Tokyo. A total of 44 people, including those in local fisheries, voiced their opinions at the hearings. Some were concerned about the damage caused by unfounded fears and rumors concerning the effects of the offshore disposal of tritium water. Meanwhile, many others thought t...more

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Recent News

20 September, 2018
62nd IAEA GC Opens: Japan’s Minister of State for Science Stresses National Policy of Reducing Plutonium Holdings
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
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