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Safery screenings for Oma plant

December 16, 2014

J-Power applies for safety check of Oma nuclear plant under construction in Aomori




By TOSHIO KAWADA/ Staff Writer

Electric Power Development Co. (J-Power) applied Dec. 16 for safety screenings for its Oma nuclear power plant, currently under construction in Aomori Prefecture.

It marks the first screening application submitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for a nuclear plant under construction since new safety standards were introduced in July 2013.

J-Power estimates that the screening process will take about one year and hopes to complete construction of the plant by 2020 for the start of operations in fiscal 2021.

The Oma plant is the first nuclear power plant to be constructed and operated by J-Power, a private utility company set up through capital contributed by the central government and regional utility companies.

The Oma plant will be the world's first fully MOX nuclear facility, where only mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, consisting of plutonium and uranium, is used. The MOX fuel is created by using plutonium produced through the processing of spent nuclear fuel.

At conventional pluthermal nuclear plants, at most one-third of the nuclear fuel is MOX fuel, with conventional uranium fuel making up the rest.

Compared with uranium fuel, it is more difficult for control rods to suppress nuclear chain reactions when MOX fuel is used, and the NRA will be focusing on whether adequate measures are being considered to deal with that factor.

Construction began in 2008, and the plant is currently 37.6 percent complete.

After the new screening standards were set, J-Power raised its projected earthquake preparedness scale from 450 gals to 650 gals.

Measured with seismographs, a gal is a unit of acceleration that measures the extent of an earthquake's seismic waves. Earthquakes with high levels of magnitude also have high gal measurements.

The anti-seismic capabilities of equipment at the plant were based on that higher projection.

Construction work on safety measures will be implemented based on the screening results.

The Hakodate city government in Hokkaido filed a lawsuit in April in the Tokyo District Court that named J-Power and the central government as defendants and called for an injunction against construction work.

Hakodate lies across the Tsugaru Strait from Aomori Prefecture and is located within a 30-kilometer radius of the Oma plant.

Construction is also proceeding at two other nuclear plants in Higashidori, Aomori Prefecture, and Shimane Prefecture, but applications for safety screenings have not yet been submitted for those two projects.



Oma plant operator applies for govt. screening



Dec. 16, 2014 - Updated 05:29 UTC+1


A Japanese power company has applied for government screening for a nuclear power plant being constructed in the north of the country.

The process is necessary under new regulations for nuclear plants issued after the 2011 Fukushima accident.

Senior officials of Electric Power Development, or J-Power, submitted the application to the Nuclear Regulatory Authority on Tuesday.

The facility in Oma Town, Aomori Prefecture, will be the world's first commercial plant with all reactors operating solely on plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel. Its construction was suspended after the Fukushima accident in 2011 and resumed in October 2012.

The operator says it will strengthen safety measures to comply with the revised government requirements. It has raised the maximum level of shaking projected by an earthquake from 450 to 650 gal and will make the necessary reinforcements to withstand it.

The operator's Executive Managing Director Junji Nagashima said the application was made after thorough consideration of stronger safety measures.

He said the company will continue to step up safety. It aims to begin operating the plant in fiscal 2021.

Plant operators have filed applications with the nuclear regulator for screenings of 21 reactors at 14 nuclear power stations across Japan. The Oma application is the first for a facility that is still under construction.


J-Power applies for safety screening of uncompleted Oma nuclear plant



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Electricity Power Development Co. on Tuesday applied for safety screening of the Oma nuclear power plant being built in Aomori Prefecture, with a view to launching commercial operation as early as fiscal 2021.

The move by the electricity wholesaler, known as J-Power, marks the first time that the screening has been sought for a reactor under construction since the establishment of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority in September 2012.

The screening is likely to take one year, construction five years, while trial operation will take another year, according to J-Power.

The new plant, located on the northern tip of the main island of Honshu, would be the world's first reactor using only plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel.

It is expected to play an important role in Japan's fuel recycling policy as MOX fuel is produced from uranium and plutonium extracted by reprocessing used uranium fuel.

Amid concerns over nuclear safety following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi crisis, the city of Hakodate in Hokkaido, which is located within 30 kilometers from the plant's site across the Tsugaru Straight, has filed a lawsuit against the government and J-Power to halt the construction.

Although the construction work started in 2008 was suspended following the Fukushima accident, it resumed in October 2012.

December 16, 2014(Mainichi Japan)



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