21 Juin 2013
June 21, 2013
Breakwater completed for nuclear plant in Niigata
Tokyo Electric Power Company has unveiled a breakwater erected to prevent tsunami damage to a nuclear plant on the Japan Sea.
Seawalls are one of the requirements stipulated in safety guidelines approved by the country's nuclear regulator on Wednesday.
The safety guidelines will take effect in July. They oblige power companies to implement measures to address the possibility of serious accidents at nuclear plants.
On Thursday, TEPCO gave reporters access to the breakwater built for the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture. The utility started constructing the barrier 2 years ago.
The breakwater stands about 15 meters above sea level. TEPCO officials say the seawall can protect the reactor buildings even if it was hit by tsunami waves as large as ones that struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station in 2011.
TEPCO also let reporters watch, for the first time, its work to set up filter vents at the plant. The system can release pressure in containment vessels while limiting the emission of radioactive substances.
Power companies are required to install filter vents at boiling-water type reactors similar to those at the crippled Fukushima plant.
TEPCO is now laying concrete foundations for the vents on the ground next to the currently offline No.1 and No.7 reactor buildings.
If completed, the tank-shaped equipment will measure 8 meters high and 4 meters wide. It uses water as a filter to drastically reduce emissions of radioactive elements.
TEPCO says it hopes to win local understanding for the safety measures so it can quickly apply to restart the reactors.