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Top > Releases ・ Announcements > Press Releases > 2014 > ADVANCES IN CLEANING WATER, SAFELY REMOVING NUCLEAR FUEL AT FUKUSHIMA CITED IN TEPCO'S MOST RECENT PROGRESS REPORT

Press Releases 2014

Press Release (Nov 05,2014)ADVANCES IN CLEANING WATER, SAFELY REMOVING NUCLEAR FUEL AT FUKUSHIMA CITED IN TEPCO'S MOST RECENT PROGRESS REPORT

Company is encouraged to continue expanding new "safety culture"down to front-line employees and supervisors

TOKYO, November 5, 2014-Significant advances in the treatment of contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, together with the safe removal of nuclear fuel and other indications of progress, were reported in the Tokyo Electric Power Company's most recent quarterly progress report, released today.

Dr. Dale E. Klein, the former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission who chairs TEPCO's Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee, an international group of experts overseeing TEPCO's implementation of the Nuclear Safety Reform Plan, commented on the report: "It demonstrates progress in a broad range of important areas. Among the most significant are advances in implementing a comprehensive approach to manage water at the site of Fukushima Daiichi, the full operation of the new Fukushima D&D Engineering Company under the leadership of Naohiro Masuda, and the inculcation of a safety culture throughout the company."

Still, Dr. Klein said, TEPCO must do even more, particularly in expanding the embrace of the safety culture: "We would like to see TEPCO do more to press this cultural change down to the front-line supervisors. This is a critical success factor, because such an important part of creating a safety culture is empowering every employee to speak up and share concerns with their managers."

Improvements in Water Treatment

The report, which covers the second quarter of the company's 2014 Fiscal Year (corresponding to July through September), noted progress in activation of the ALPS water treatment systems, including a new high-performance ALPS system - part of seven complimentary systems brought online to clean water, known as the "Seven Samurai."

It also reported on the nearly complete removal of nuclear fuel from the Unit 4 reactor building's spent fuel pool, a process that began in November 2013 and has proceeded smoothly and safely.

Future efforts, the report said, will focus on decontamination and decommissioning work at Fukushima and also on continuing preparations to safely restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station, for which the company has sought regulatory approval.

Nuclear Safety Oversight Office

The report also noted the progress in making the Nuclear Safety Oversight Office - a group that functions independently within TEPCO, reporting directly to the Monitoring Committee and to TEPCO's Board - fully operational.

Lady Barbara Judge CBE, Former Chairman of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority and now Deputy Chairman of TEPCO's Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee, said: "Creation of the Oversight Office was an important recommendation of our Committee and I am very pleased to see that it is operating effectively and making a positive difference in TEPCO's nuclear safety. It has a real role in improving not only the safety practices and procedures of TEPCO, but is one of the driving forces in the process of instilling and monitoring the strong safety culture which will be so important for TEPCO in the future. It has made a series of important reports to the Board, and I commend the Board for accepting and acting on its recommendations."

TEPCO President and CEO Naomi Hirose, said the company "is proud of the progress our workers have achieved, and at the same time recognizes the challenges that lie ahead. We are fully committed to meeting those challenges, with the continued collaboration of the international community."

Summary of "2nd Quarter Progress Report on Nuclear Safety Reform Plan" may be found at Outline of Nuclear Safety Reform Plan Progress Report (2nd Quarter FY 2014).
The whole report may be found at Nuclear Safety Reform Plan Progress Report (2nd Quarter, 2014).

A video of Dr.Klein commenting on the report may be viewed at http://www.nrmc.jp/en/report/detail/1243729_5233.html.

About TEPCO

Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) is Japan's largest power company, supplying energy to the greater Kanto area, including Japan's two most populous cities, Tokyo and Yokohama. Its 35,000 employees are committed to providing safe, reliable power to its 29.0 million customers, diversifying energy resources to ensure sustainability, and contributing to economic growth while fully meeting its responsibilities after the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
TEPCO website: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html
TEPCO facebook page: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/facebook/index-e.html

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