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Top > Releases ・ Announcements > Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report > 2013 > Immediate release: Multi-Pronged Effort Underway to Make Fukushima Safer,Speed Cleanup, TEPCO Says in New Report

Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report 2013

Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report (Nov 08,2013)Immediate release: Multi-Pronged Effort Underway to Make Fukushima Safer,Speed Cleanup, TEPCO Says in New Report

Extensive improvements underway in working conditions, management controls, water management, and plans for safe storage of spent fuel

TOKYO, Nov. 8, 2013-Extensive improvements are underway across a wide range of areas to improve safety and working conditions for the thousands of workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, while at the same time speeding progress toward the safe cleanup of the site, according to today's report from the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).

In announcing release of the report, TEPCO President Naomi Hirose said: "As the decommissioning work continues, improving working conditions and the safety of workers, along with their morale and motivation, should be among our highest priorities. We believe this is a very important element in regaining public trust."

The improvements also address the various challenges associated with managing groundwater, rainwater, and coolant water that becomes contaminated with radioactivity and which is being stored at the plant.

The report also describes a variety of strengthened management controls that have been put in place, along with a brief summary of the preparations that have been made for the transfer of spent nuclear fuel from the damaged Unit 4 to a safe, storage location within the Fukushima Daiichi facility. That transfer, a key milestone in the cleanup effort, is expected to take place later this month.

Pay, Working Conditions Addressed

Among the several dozen initiatives described, some have been recently completed, others are partially complete, and some major construction efforts will continue for several years. President Hirose noted that these initiatives are the result of innovative thinking and engineering by TEPCO's employees and contractors, and are being undertaken with full consultation with TEPCO's international advisors and various stakeholders within Japan.

Among the highlights of the report:

-Improving the work environment: TEPCO is increasing some wages and doubling the contractors' labor premium paid for work at the facility to approx. 20,000 yen per individual per day. It is also tightening the supervision of work performed by contractors, and making improvements to many "quality of life" issues that, taken together, have a real impact on morale and performance: better meals, better living conditions, improved break rooms, better cell phone communication and easier transportation.

-Improving management controls: These include a new operations procedures manual, better communication, and enhanced risk prediction. They also include a new personnel management policy to ensure adequate staffing.

-Infrastructure improvements: Equipment and structures that were developed in the immediate aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami are being replaced and upgraded, often with sturdier more permanent structures and infrastructure. These include new roads, drainage, and fire suppression systems, and a new central monitoring facility that will be in place by the end of fiscal year 2016.

-Management of contaminated water: The facility's location, sandwiched between a mountainside and the sea, means that groundwater and rainwater management will be a long-term consideration, along with management of the water used to cool the reactors and the spent fuel. Consequently, TEPCO is implementing a variety of strategies to minimize the amount of rainwater and groundwater that becomes contaminated, improve the treatment of water that does become radioactive, and improve storage practices, including a multi-faceted effort to improve the integrity of the tanks storing water and to increase their capacity. The plan is expected to significantly reduce the levels of radioactivity of the majority of stored water by the end of fiscal year 2015.

Safe Removal of Unit 4 Spent Fuel

Finally, the report summarizes the steps taken to prepare for the transfer of spent fuel from the damaged Unit 4 spent fuel pool to safe storage in permanent casks within the Fukushima Daiichi site. These steps include:
- The use of specialized equipment designed to withstand the unlikely event of another 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
- Stabilization of the Unit 4 building and other detailed procedures, reviewed by third parties.
- Thorough training of the workers who will be performing the task.

A video about the Unit 4 fuel removal may be seen at http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2013/201310-e/131030-02e.html and a detailed discussion with graphics may be found at http://photo.tepco.co.jp/library/131030_02e/131030_01-e.pdf (PDF 1.82MB)

More Information Available Online

Full text of the English-language version of TEPCO's report today may be found at Key Safety Measures at Fukushima Daiichi NPS (PDF 203KB)and Key safety measures at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station(PDF 2.19MB)

TEPCO, Inc. is a provider of electricity to the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo and Yokohama. The company is headquartered in Tokyo. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was struck by a tsunami after an earthquake that occurred in March 2011. For more information, please go to http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html.

 

 

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