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28 March, 2015

NRA Asks about Measures Against Possible Mount Fuji Eruption

On March 18, the NRA carried out a public meeting with President Akihisa Mizuno of Chubu Electric Power Co.

At the meeting, Pres. Mizuno first explained measures taken by Chubu Electric Power dealing with the predicted Tokai Earthquake (the Tokai region being the location of the power company). He went on to talk about various corrections and improvements being made, including the continuation of technology. He also mentioned the sharing of information based on the pipe rupture accident at the company’s Hamaoka-1 Nuclear Power Plant in 2001. Finally, he spoke about the specific activities that the company has taken to improve safety so far.

Regarding efforts to ferment and instill safety culture, the power company president explained his company’s risk management by comparing it to a bicycle heading down the “road of communication” toward the “destination of nuclear safety.” He likened technological abilities to the front wheel of the bicycle, company morale to the rear wheel, and compliance to the frame.

After those comments, the NRA commissioners in attendance asked him several questions, such as the measures to be taken if Mt. Fuji erupted. Other questions included whether workers’ awareness of the plant being “their own” was lifting morale.

In terms of improvements to the regulatory system, NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa noted that while nuclear operators in the United States want a strong regulatory authority, President Mizuno had called for the awareness that safety should also be improved through discussions with the regulators.

After the meeting, Pres. Mizuno, in an interview with the press, spoke of his dread that natural disasters would strike the Hamaoka NPPs someday, saying, “We have always worked on the assumption that a big earthquake will inevitably occur. We must be humble before nature.”

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