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NRA criticises TEPCO's safety management

July 10, 2017



Nuclear watchdog raps TEPCO safety management




Japan's nuclear regulator has criticized the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant, saying the utility is not demonstrating initiative in dealing with issues of safety management.

Officials at the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Monday conducted a hearing with the new leadership of Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO.

TEPCO Chairman Takashi Kawamura and President Tomoaki Kobayakawa attended the hearing. They took up their posts last month.

The rare hearing is aimed at confirming TEPCO's progress on safety management, as the firm is seeking to restart 2 nuclear reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture.

Kawamura and Kobayakawa said the company's top priority is taking on full responsibility for the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

But regulation officials said they are concerned that TEPCO is failing to show initiative on issues such as treatment of the increasing volume of contaminated water and removal of melted fuel at the plant.

They pointed out that TEPCO still relies on the government to make decisions in these areas.

On the disposal of contaminated water, the TEPCO executives said they hope to resolve the situation before the plant's storage tanks for the water reach capacity in 2 years.

But they couldn't present any specific plan to deal with the problem.

The chairman of the regulator, Shunichi Tanaka, said he does not think the company's measures are sufficient.

He asked the TEPCO leadership to submit detailed plans on how the utility plans to decommission reactors at the plant.



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