28 Octobre 2013
October 28, 2013
FUKUSHIMA – Hirose said the safety screening process for the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units was not among the topics discussed with Tanaka.
The NRA did not open the Tanaka-Hirose meeting to the media, except for the beginning, to allow them to engage in what it called “frank discussions.”
Tepco, which continues to struggle with the massive buildup of radioactive water at the Fukushima plant, filed for NRA safety assessments for idled reactors 6 and 7 at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in September.
But a formal safety screening meeting for the reactors, usually held in public, has not convened, meaning the assessment process has yet to enter full swing.
Tepco is desperate to curtail the heavy costs it’s paying to buy fuel for thermal power generation in place of atomic power.
ALPS unit resumes tests
Following a suspension of about four months, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it resumed test operations at one of the three high-tech water filtering at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The start of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, which removes most radioactive materials from tainted water at the plant, follows the resumption of another ALPS unit in September.
The daily water processing capacity at the plant now stands at 500 tons, with each unit capable of cleaning 250 tons.
Tepco began using the system in March but halted it in June when corrosion was discovered inside one of the tanks where contaminated water was being stored. A senior official at the Nuclear Regulation Authority suggested Monday that Tokyo Electric Power Co. improve its management of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant before restarting any reactors at its huge complex in Niigata.
Referring to two reactors at the seven-unit Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant Tepco is seeking to restart, NRA Secretary-General Katsuhiko Ikeda told reporters, “The NRA will decide whether to go ahead with the safety assessment by seeing how the situation at Fukushima No. 1 improves.”
He made the comments after joining a rare meeting Monday between NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka and Tepco President Naomi Hirose to discuss ways to get a grip on the radioactive water leaking at Fukushima No. 1.
Tanaka was quoted by Ikeda as telling Hirose: “I want you to take drastic measures (to improve the situation) and respond, based on a long-term perspective.”
Clearing NRA safety checks is required before Tepco can restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors, a move that would improve the firm’s tough business predicament resulting from the Fukushima disaster.
The repeated flows, spills and leaks of radioactive water plaguing Fukushima No. 1 have led NRA commissioners to doubt Tepco’s management adequately grasps the situation of the workers at the plant or whether the utility has the wherewithal to ensure the safety of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors.
Tepco has submitted an analysis of the recent water spills and measures it plans to prevent further incidents. This includes transferring about 20 workers from Kashiwazaki-Kariwa to Fukushima No. 1, but the steps didn’t impress the NRA.
At Monday’s meeting at the NRA building in Tokyo, Tanaka told Hirose to improve the working environment at the Fukushima plant, such as by reducing radiation levels.
“Work efficiency is not good when wearing full-face masks . . . and especially communication is difficult. I expect radiological countermeasures to be taken at the site to end this kind of situation,” Tanaka reportedly said.
Hirose separately admitted to reporters that there are still many areas where workers have to put on such masks and that he hopes to secure enough staff to deal with the stricken plant, where three reactors suffered core meltdowns.
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A senior official of the Nuclear Regulation Authority suggested Monday that Tokyo Electric Power Co. should improve its management of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant before restarting reactors at another nuclear complex.
Referring to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant that TEPCO seeks to restart, NRA Secretary General Katsuhiko Ikeda told reporters, "The NRA will decide whether to go ahead with the safety assessment by seeing how the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi improves."
He made the comments after joining a rare meeting between NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka and TEPCO President Naomi Hirose held following a series of radioactive water leaks and other troubles at the Fukushima plant.
Tanaka was quoted by Ikeda as telling Hirose, "I want you to take drastic measures (to improve the situation) and respond, based on a long-term perspective."
Clearing NRA safety checkups is essential for TEPCO to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture, a move that would improve the company's tough business conditions stemming from the nuclear crisis at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011.
The utility filed for assessments of the idled Nos. 6 and 7 reactors in late September. But the NRA has not yet convened a formal safety screening meeting for the reactors, indicating that the assessment process is not yet in full swing.
At the request of the NRA, TEPCO submitted on Oct. 15 a report that analyzed the cause of the leak incidents at the Fukushima plant and presented measures to prevent a recurrence, including transferring about 20 staff from Kashiwazaki-Kariwa to Fukushima Daiichi.
But NRA commissioners have expressed doubts about whether the utility's management personnel fully understand the situation faced by workers on site and whether the company can ensure the safety of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.
During the meeting on Monday at the NRA's office building in Tokyo, Tanaka told Hirose to improve the working environment at the Fukushima plant, such as by reducing the radiation level.
"Work efficiency is not good when wearing full-face masks...and especially communication is difficult. I expect radiological countermeasures to be taken at the site to end this kind of situation," Tanaka was quoted as telling.
Hirose separately admitted to reporters that there are still many areas where workers have to put on such masks and that he hopes to secure enough staff to deal with the accident-stricken plant, where three reactors have suffered core meltdowns.
Hirose said the safety screening process of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant was not among the topics that were discussed with Tanaka.
To allow for "frank discussions" between Tanaka and Hirose, the NRA decided not to make the meeting open to media, except for the outset.
TEPCO, which has been placed under effective state control after receiving a capital injection, is eager to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant to curtail fuel costs for thermal power generation that is making up for the loss of nuclear power