4 Octobre 2013
October 4, 2013
The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to bring under control the massive amount of radioactive water gushing from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex, including by boosting worker numbers on-site.
Summoning Tepco President Naomi Hirose after a series of recent spills at the crippled power plant, Katsuhiko Ikeda, head of the NRA secretariat, tore into the utility for “rudimentary mistakes” that caused the toxic water problem and said its management in the field was “significantly deteriorating.”
“I want you to implement on-site management appropriately even if it requires bringing workers from Tepco’s other nuclear power plants,” Ikeda warned Hirose.
With concerns growing over the toxic water problem at Fukushima No. 1, Ikeda also urged Tepco to report whether it can ensure the safety of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa atomic plant in Niigata Prefecture, two of whose seven reactors the utility seeks to restart.
Hirose, in turn, said he will “devote all the company’s resources” to managing the toxic water problem. Tepco will also undertake all necessary procedures for restarting reactors 6 and 7 at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, he told reporters afterward.
Later Friday, Ikeda said he expects Tepco to submit a report on how it plans to deal with the water fiasco in about a week.
Radioactive water continues to build daily at Fukushima No. 1 because groundwater is seeping into the reactor buildings and mixing with water being used to cool the three crippled reactors. Contaminated water is stored in around 1,000 tanks at the complex, and Tepco is struggling to plug leaks.
On Thursday, Tepco said some 430 liters of radioactive water had poured out of one tank the day before, and some of it flowed into the Pacific. The leak was caused when workers tried to inject water into the tank, which was nearly at full capacity. The tank was not equipped with a water-level indicator and had not been set up on level ground, issues Tepco was fully aware of.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it had to again suspend the water treatment system at the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 power plant after an alarm was triggered at 6:40 a.m.
No leakage of contaminated water has been detected so far, the utility reported.
Following a previous suspension Sept. 27, Tepco resumed operation Monday of the advanced liquid processing system (ALPS) after determining that a rubber sheet left in a nearby water tank had obstructed a drain outlet.
TEPCO urged to prevent contaminated water leaks
The Secretariat of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has criticized the president of Tokyo Electric Power Company for repeated errors that caused radioactive water to leak from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
NRA Secretary-General Katsuhiko Ikeda summoned TEPCO President Naomi Hirose on Friday, and demanded that the utility immediately come up with plans to prevent such problems.
Ikeda said it is regrettable that the leakage was caused by human error. He said the company's on-site management is extremely poor.
Highly radioactive water was found to be overflowing from a storage tank at the plant on Wednesday. Workers had continued to pump water into the tank located on a slope.
Ikeda added that he wants TEPCO to send personnel from other power plants to help with the work at Fukushima Daiichi.
Ikeda also asked TEPCO to show whether safety measures are in place at the Kashiwazaki-Kariya nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture.
The utility applied to the Nuclear Regulation Authority last month for the safety screening needed to restart 2 of the idle reactors at the Niigata plant.
Hirose apologized for the problems at Fukushima Daiichi, saying the company had recently changed its system for processing contaminated wastewater, and workers are not used to the new procedures. He said TEPCO will use all possible resources to deal with the problem.
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Nuclear regulators on Friday ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to improve its management of a massive amount of radioactive water at its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex without hesitating to deploy workers from other power plants.
Summoning TEPCO President Naomi Hirose following recent leaks at the Fukushima plant, Katsuhiko Ikeda, the head of the NRA secretariat, criticized the utility for "rudimentary mistakes" that resulted in the trouble and said its field management ability was "significantly deteriorating."
"I want you to implement on-site management appropriately even if it requires bringing a workforce from TEPCO's other power generation plants," Ikeda told Hirose.
With concerns growing over the situation at the Fukushima plant, Ikeda also urged the utility to report whether it can ensure the safety of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station in Niigata Prefecture, which the company is seeking to restart.
Hirose said he will "devote all the company's resources" to managing the toxic water problem. The company will also undergo necessary procedures toward resuming two idled reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, he told reporters.
Ikeda told reporters later that he expects TEPCO to submit a report on how it will deal with the issue in about a week.
Radioactive water is increasing daily at the Fukushima plant, hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, because groundwater is seeping into reactor buildings and mixing with water that is used to cool the three crippled reactors.
Such contaminated water is kept in about 1,000 tanks set up at the site, and TEPCO is struggling to prevent leaks from the storage tanks. The current typhoon season is adding to the difficulty because the utility also has to deal with rainwater that accumulates inside leak-protection barriers around the tanks.
On Thursday, the utility said about 430 liters of radioactive water leaked from one tank the previous day, and some of that water flowed into the Pacific Ocean.
The leak occurred because water spilled after workers tried to inject more water into the nearly full tank. The tank was not equipped with a water-level indicator and was set up on unlevel ground, which TEPCO was aware of.
Just before the incident, TEPCO also allowed 5 tons of tainted rainwater to overflow from another tank because a worker erroneously connected a hose to the tank.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, meanwhile, announced that it will send a team of experts on decontaminating areas affected by the nuclear crisis at the request of the Japanese government.
The mission, to take place between Oct. 14 and 21, is a follow-up to a previous mission conducted in October 2011.
The IAEA said that the 16-member team plans to submit a report on the last day of the mission summarizing its findings and advice to the Japanese government.