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Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report 2013

Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report (Nov 01, 2013)Immediate release: TEPCO Reports Major Progress, Amid Challenges, at Fukushima

Facilities as well as management controls strengthened at all three nuclear power stations; water management plan under development

TOKYO-Major progress is being made in every aspect of the challenging process to decommission and decontaminate the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) reported today.


In a quarterly report on its progress in implementing the Nuclear Safety Reform Plan, the company also reported significant progress in strengthening its two other nuclear facilities: Fukushima Daini, and Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (KK), both of which are currently offline.


Water Management at Fukushima Daiichi


According to the report, TEPCO has taken multiple steps to address the challenge of managing the accumulating water on the site groundwater, rainwater, and water used to cool the reactors and spent fuel. Those steps include water situation, including increased patrols of storage tank areas, the construction of stronger tanks, the accelerated treatment of water to reduce radioactivity, the removal of contaminated water from trenches, improved tank gauges and other safety measures, and construction of groundwater bypasses. Construction has begun on longer-term measures, including construction of an impermeable wall on the seaside of the plant, which is scheduled to be completed by next September.


The company acknowledged continuing challenges, both with regard to such emergency measures as leak prevention and longer-term water management. To address those issues, the company has established a Contaminated Water and Tank Countermeasures Headquarters, directly overseen by TEPCO President Naomi Hirose. It will soon be meeting with Lake H. Barrett, a U.S. expert on decommissioning nuclear plants who was responsible for the cleanup at Three Mile Island, on development of a long-term water management plan. A comprehensive report devoted specifically to water management issues will be provided after the meetings with Mr. Barrett and consultation with additional international experts.


Strengthened Management and Controls


A variety of steps have been taken under the Plan to strengthen TEPCO's ability to manage the nuclear facilities safely, the Report says. They include additional training for leaders, including simulations, and strengthening of a Safety culture with best practices and guidelines gathered from nuclear experts around the world. Monitor training was conducted by the U.S.-based Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.


TEPCO also strengthened its Incident Command System, and improvement measures for sharing information by using smartphones were verified during training at the KK facility in September. ICS training will continue at all three facilities.


Improvements at Fukushima Daini and KK


Significant strengthening and preventive measures have also been adopted at both Fukushima Daini and KK. At Daini, all equipment involved in maintaining the cold shutdown of the facility has been completed. Moreover, additional training has been conducted to ensure that the facility can be safely maintained in cold shutdown even in the event of another natural event on the magnitude of the Great Japan Earthquake.


At KK, additional safeguards have been put in place, along with training, to ensure that the facility can safely manage even the most unanticipated accidents, including those simultaneously affecting multiple plants. For example, the number of personnel on night duty has been increased, the number of emergency response personnel has been more than doubled to 677 from 324, the chain of command has been clarified, and other steps have been taken.


Commenting on the report, TEPCO President Naomi Hirose said: "We recognize that we have a great responsibility to the community and to Japan, and that we continue to face significant challenges. This report acknowledges those challenges, and at the same time illustrates the significant progress we have made and are continuing to make every day through the hard work of our employees and contractors."


Dr. Dale Klein, former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Chairman of TEPCO's Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee commented on the report: I am pleased to see the important progress this report describes. At the same time, I am looking forward to reviewing TEPCO's plans for a comprehensive water management program, and I am particularly pleased that they have engaged Lake Barrett, who has been through this at Three Mile Island, to help. With a mountain on one side of Fukushima Daiichi and the sea on the other, they will be dealing with water for a long time, and managing it effectively is essential.


Lady Barbara Judge CBE, former Chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Deputy Chairman of TEPCO's Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee, said, "Some progress, but not as much as I would have liked, but what we have done is significant. We're set up the Nuclear Safety Oversight Office, which is an in-house office for self-regulation of safety and we're recruited an internationally known safety expert to come to Japan and to live here and to head it up. We're made that Nuclear Safety Oversight Office an important part of the TEPCO career path, so that people will want to join it and it reports directly to the Board of Directors, which is very important. I am looking for the next quarter to see stronger, better, and quicker results on a path that's very important to create a new safety culture for TEPCO.


The full report is available at


To view the comments by Dr. Dale Klein and Lady Barbara Judge CBE, please go to


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 

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