At its regular meeting on September 15, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) officially finalized the review report on its compatibility examination of the Shimane-2 (BWR, 820MW), owned and operated by the Chugoku Electric Power Co.
The NRA then granted permission to the power company to make changes to the reactor installation (i.e., basic design approval), the 17th such permission granted under the new regulatory standards, and the fifth for a boiling water reactor (BWR).
The application for an examination of Shimane-2 was submitted to the NRA in December 2013, almost at the same time that the Tohoku Electric Power Co. filed its application for the Onagawa-2, for which permission to make changes was given in February 2020. For Shimane-2, the final stage of the examination focused primarily on tsunami countermeasures.
On June 23, the NRA approved a draft review report, saying the unit was compatible with the new regulatory standards. The draft report was then referred to the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC...more
On September 15, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan finalized its approval to make changes to the reactor installation at the Shimane-2, owned and operated by the Chugoku Electric Power Co.
Almost 8 years have passed since the application was first filed with the NRA in December 2013. Following similar approval in February 2020 for Onagawa-2 of the Tohoku Electric Power Co. This is the fifth time that the NRA has granted permission for a boiling water reactor (BWR), and the 17th time overall for a domestic nuclear power plant (NPP).
NRA held a total of 184 meetings (as of the end of June 2021) during its examination of Shimane-2. The parties conducted their discussions methodically, including reviews of assumptions regarding earthquakes and tsunami, taking new knowledge and investigative data into account. Based on the results of the meetings, the standard height for tsunami was revised upward from 9.5m to 11.6m, and safety measures were further enhanced accordingly.
From September 6 to 9, Deputy Director General Lydie Evrard of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)—and who is also in charge of the agency’s Department of Nuclear Safety and Security—met in Japan with officials from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as well as other agencies and ministries.
The purpose of her visit was to discuss schedules and items to be reviewed. toward the implementation of a review of safety of water treated by the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS-treated water) at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs).
In April, the Japanese government announced its basic policy of releasing ALPS-treated water into the sea beginning in approximately two years. In the future, assessments are to be made of three issues: (1) the characteristics of the water to be released, (2) the safety of the process of releasing the water, and (3) the radiological effects on people and the environment, based on IAEA safety standards.
Given that reviews by the agency are expected to continue for several years, the parties now further agreed that a review team shou...more
On August 27, a peer review was completed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concerning Japan's plans and activities toward the decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs).
The leader of the team that visited Japan, Director Christophe Xerri of the IAEA’s Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology, delivered a review report to State Minister Kiyoshi Ejima of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The report includes important acknowledgments of progress in 26 areas.
The IAEA’s review mission was its fifth to Japan, the previous one having taken place in November 2018. This time, as part of precautions against COVID-19, only team leader Xerri and one other person actually visited the Fukushima Daiichi site on August 23 and 24 for on-site investigations. Prior to that, from the end of June to early August, the full team held online conferences with Japanese parties twice weekly.
Separately, IAEA senior officials will visit Japan ...more
Visiting Vienna for three days from August 18 to 20, Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) met with Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on August 19.
The two officials, in accordance with Japan’s requests, agreed to move forward with review missions toward the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi and on the safety of ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) in the treatment of water through the removal of radioactive contaminants.
So far, Japan has accepted four review missions by IAEA’s specialists on the decommissioning at Fukushima Daiichi in general, treating them as international peer reviews of the progress of efforts by the government and the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), under the “mid-to-long-term roadmap” toward decommissioning.
The last mission, which visited Japan in November 2018, provided important acknowledgments of progress in 17 areas, and offered 21 advisory points.
At the meeting in Vienna this time, ...more
On July 30, after a hiatus of more than ten and a half years, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) restarted its High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR), a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) with a thermal output of 3MW. The reactor is located in Oarai Town, Ibaraki Prefecture, about a 90-minute drive northeast of Tokyo.
The operation of the reactor had been suspended since the beginning of 2011 after its 13th cycle was completed. Since then, JAEA had been endeavoring to meet new regulatory standards for the reactor in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake.
In November 2014, JAEA filed an application with the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for a compatibility examination of HTTR, following a similar application for its Japan Research Reactor No. 3 (JRR-3) in September. In June 2020, JAEA was given permission (basic design approval) to make changes to the HTTR installation, after which it undertook work on safety measures.
The inspections necessary for restarting the reactor were finally completed In July 2021, and various other inspections will now be successively carried out to confirm the reac...more
■The Japanese Government’s Announcement of the Basic Policy on handling of the ALPS treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS)
-- Based on more than six years of comprehensive study by experts, reviews by the IAEA, and engagement with parties concerned, the Government of Japan published the Basic Policy on handling of the ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) treated water at FDNPS on 13 April 2021.
- The amount of ALPS treated water based on the latest data from TEPCO.
- Information about Fukushima Daiichi NPS Water Treatment (Korean)
- Information about Fukushima Daiichi NPS Water Treatment (Simplified Chinese)
- Information about Fukushima Daiichi NPS Water Treatment (Traditional Chinese)
Latest progress of Fukushima Daiichi NPP water treatment
-- Amount of tr...more
On July 21, a rough draft of Japan’s next Strategic Energy Plan was presented at the Strategic Policy Committee, under the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy. Because 3 years have passed since the current plan was issued, the Japanese government has been addressing its revision since last fall. The policy committee is chaired by Takashi Shiraishi, chancellor of the Prefectural University of Kumamoto.
At the start of the meeting, Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama, head of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said, “Given Japan’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, along with the new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 46% from 2013 levels by the year 2030, efforts are very important in the energy field, in which greenhouse gas emissions account for more than 80% of total emissions.” He asked the policy committee to deepen its deliberations based on the draft.
From the dual perspectives of responding to climate change and overcoming issues in Japan’s energy supply-and-demand structure, the draft of the new Strategic Energy Plan primarily focuses on three areas:
The decade since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi.
Issues and actions toward realizing carbo...more
On June 29, the Mihama-3 Nuclear Power Plant (PWR, 826MW) of the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP) began to again generate power after a hiatus of slightly more than 10 years.
Mihama-3 originally began commercial operation in December 1976. In May 2011, the unit entered a periodic inspection, when it underwent examinations by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for compatibility with the new regulatory standards and for permission to extend its operating lifetime to up to 60 years.
The unit was restarted on June 23, 2021, becoming the first in Japan to be restarted after operating for more than 40 years. A period of adjustment operations is now underway before the final stage of the periodic inspection, i.e., connection to the grid. After a final inspection by the NRA, Mihama-3 is expected to resume commercial service on July 27.
In addition to work on safety measures based on the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi, Kansai EP carried out other kinds of w...more
At 10:00 a.m. on June 23, the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP) restarted its Mihama-3 Nuclear Power Plant (PWR, 826MW). The unit had entered a periodic inspection in May 2011, slightly more than decade ago.
In the wake of the giant earthquake of March 2011 (officially named the Great East Japan Earthquake), the Japanese government passed legislation limiting NPPs to 40 years of operation in principle. Mihama-3 will be the first unit to be restarted since then that had served for more than 40 years. Its restart will be the first step toward the long-term utilization of NPPs whose safety has been confirmed.
During the decade-long operational hiatus of the reactor, the central control room at Mihama-3 was digitalized as part of work to enhance safety measures. Persons on duty for the restart have trained on a simulator for about two years.
Operation of Mihama-3 during its restart went smoothly this time. The unit went critical before dawn on June 24, achieving sustained fission, and begin ...more