for Japanese


5 October, 2015

NRA Talks with Kansai EP about Mihama-3 as Legal Lifetime Nears End

At its regular meeting on September 30, the Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan (NRA) received a report from its secretariat on the current status of examinations to confirm whether the Mihama-3 Nuclear Power Plant (PWR, 826MWe) was compatible with new regulatory standards. The plant is owned and operated by the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP).

Mihama-1 and -2 are left

Because the service period of the plant will reach the 40-year mark on November 30, 2016, both the aforementioned compatibility examination and another one dealing with the extension of the reactor’s lifetime are required under the Reactor Regulation Law before it can be restarted.

According to the report, in March of this year, after Kansai EP had filed applications for compatibility examinations (specifically, applications for approvals to change its reactor installation and revise its operational safety programs) for Mihama-3, eight separate evaluation meetings were held to consider the possible effect of earthquakes, tsunami and volcanoes on the plant, with another two held concerning the plant itself.

As for the former, reviews were made of issues of the geological structure, active faults and seismic vibrations surrounding the site. On August 21, the power company presented data on standard ground motion (Ss). Two weeks later, on September 4, it was confirmed that the assessments of volcanic effects had been evaluated sufficiently in a general manner.

As for the plant-related matters, however, Kansai EP submitted only a very few of the additional materials necessary for the examination by the day of the meeting, holding up the review of the application. It cannot be determined, therefore, whether the required examinations can be completed before the reactor reaches its lifetime limit next year.

Meanwhile, regarding approval of the work plan, the secretariat said that the power company had told it that it would submit an application next month, with additional applications to be filed next February and May. Although the period for legally filing an application to extend Mihama-3’s service period is from September 1 to December 1, no application has been filed as of yet.

The secretariat also said that it would try to examine the reactor more efficiently before approving it, as an extensive review of the application is expected, particularly regarding seismic evaluations.

After receiving the report, NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa—the man in charge of plant-related examinations—described the situation as “quite serious,” adding that he was “not sure” if it could be done “even if we started working on it full-time tomorrow,” thereby demonstrating his strong sense of crisis.

New Commissioner Nobuhiko Ban, on the other hand, said they could “handle the circumstances,” taking into account the balance with other plants.

Kansai EP has filed applications with the NRA to conduct compatibility examinations on seven of its reactors, namely, Mihama-3, Takahama-1 to -4, and Oi-3 and -4. The NRA will continue to hold discussions with the company’s executives about how to handle the matter.

Additionally, at the same regular meeting on September 30, the NRA approved another report by an expert panel regarding a fault zone of crushed rock within the Mihama site, saying that there was “little possibility” of seismic activity there since the Late Pleistocene.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SNS facebooktwitter

NPPs Map


Grossi on Fukushima: Marking a Decade Since the Accident

10 March, 2021
Grossi on Fukushima: Marking a Decade Since the Accident04:11

Recent News

14 September, 2021
IAEA Deputy Director General Evrard Visits Japan in Advance of Safety Review of ALPS-treated Water
1 September, 2021
Evaluation Report Issued by IAEA’s Review Mission to Fukushima Daiichi: First Visit since 2018
24 August, 2021
METI and IAEA Agree on Further Review Missions to Fukushima Daiichi
4 August, 2021
JAEA Restarts High-Temperature Engineering Test Reactor “HTTR”
2 August, 2021
Information about Fukushima Daiichi NPS Water Treatment
28 July, 2021
METI’s Committee Shows Rough Draft of Next Strategic Energy Plan
2 July, 2021
Mihama-3 Restarted After Decade-long Hiatus: First Restart in Japan of a Reactor Operating Beyond 40 Years
28 June, 2021
Mihama-3 Restarts after Decade-long Hiatus
25 June, 2021
New Canada-Japan Partnership Supports Greater Collaboration to Meet Climate Change Objectives and Net-zero Goals
24 June, 2021
METI Issues New Green Growth Strategy Through Achieving Carbon Neutrality
16 June, 2021
ANRE Sticks to “S+3E”
16 June, 2021
Japanese Cabinet Approves Environmental White Paper 2021
16 June, 2021
LDP Parliamentary Association to Reconfirm Position on Utilization of Nuclear Power
16 June, 2021
Fukui Governor Concerned about Deletion of Reference to “Maximum Utilization” of Nuclear Power
14 June, 2021
Working Group on Offshore Release of Treated Water Meets in Miyagi
14 June, 2021
NRA Considers Policy on Treating Slurry from ALPS, with Local Understanding Essential
11 June, 2021
Japanese Cabinet Approves Energy White Paper 2021
11 June, 2021
Government Omits Description of “Maximum Utilization” of Nuclear Power
9 June, 2021
MNF Hopes to Resume Fuel Production as Early as November
8 June, 2021
TEPCO to Develop Sample Tanks at Fukushima Daiichi to Prepare for Offshore Release of Treated Water