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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Reporters given a tour of new safety equipment

October 3, 2013-10-03


TEPCO implements new safety measures in bid to restart Niigata reactors





KASHIWAZAKI, Niigata Prefecture--Tokyo Electric Power Co. is installing new venting equipment at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant here as part of efforts to win approval to restart two reactors.

The equipment is designed to lower pressure and filter radioactive substances in the event of serious accidents.

Reporters were given a tour of the facility that straddles two municipalities of the same names facing the Sea of Japan.

The filtered venting equipment, required under the Nuclear Regulation Authority's new safety regulation standards, is designed to release pressurized steam after filters lower its radiation count.

TEPCO in late September applied to the NRA for safety screenings so it can restart the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors.

The equipment is also being installed in the No. 1 and No. 5 reactors, which it hopes to restart after the first two are complete.

"We will apply for screenings (to restart the No. 1 and No. 5 reactors) depending on progress of the preparations," TEPCO President Naomi Hirose said.

Work on the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors is scheduled for completion before the fiscal year ends in March.

Other safety measures are also being implemented at the plant. TEPCO revised its maximum planning height to guard against a catastrophic tsunami from 3.3 meters to 8.5 meters. It has already built a new levee system. The new walls, totaling 2.5 kilometers in length, tower 15 meters above sea level, exceeding the updated tsunami planning requirements. The utility has also created a new water reservoir on elevated ground to cool the reactors in case of emergency.

TEPCO said it plans to invest a total of 120 billion yen ($1.23 billion) in safety reinforcement work.

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant shown to reporters



Tokyo Electric Power Company has invited the media to have a look at work under way on facilities at a plant in Niigata Prefecture that will allow the utility to deal with an emergency.

The construction of such facilities is required under the new, tougher safety guidelines that took effect in July.

The new facilities at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant include filtered vents. The vents are designed to reduce pressure inside reactor containment vessels in emergencies while limiting emissions of radioactive materials.

On Wednesday, media representatives viewed work under way to build concrete walls around the vent systems.
A new reservoir capable of storing 20,000 tons of water has already been completed. The reservoir is capable of supplying water for 2 weeks, combined with existing facilities, if reactors or spent fuel storage pools need to be cooled down in an emergency.

TEPCO has applied for safety screenings for 2 of the reactors at the plant, a necessary step before restarting them under the new guidelines.

TEPCO officials say all new facilities will be completed by March. They say they hope to work with local governments to draw up evacuation plans for nearby residents.

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