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Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report 2013

Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report (Nov 30, 2013)Immediate release:INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE PRAISES PROGRESS AT FUKUSHIMA

Group hails successful removal of nuclear fuel, notes

TOKYO, Japan, Dec. 3, 2013-The international committee assembled to monitor progress of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s nuclear safety reform along with its efforts at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility praised that progress yesterday, including the successful removal of nuclear fuel from Unit No.4.

The committee of international experts is known formally as the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee. It was formed to advise TEPCO to help develop a robust nuclear safety culture and in its work towards decontaminating and decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi facility. The committee held its most recent meeting in Tokyo on Dec. 2. Its major findings were:

-On the complex issue of managing water on the Fukushima site that becomes contaminated, the committee said TEPCO should carry out the "key safety measures" announced on Nov. 8, but also said a comprehensive solution to the problem of constantly accumulating water would require coordination with the government and local communities.

-The thus-far successful removal of fuel from Unit 4 "is a great milestone in the long-term decommissioning work." It recommended that TEPCO continue the work, making safety its highest priority and with transparency about its progress.

-Lessons from the experience at Fukushima Daiichi have been used to strengthen the Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Station (KK), and TEPCO should continue to work to enhance its safety culture.

-TEPCO has made a variety of improvements in its emergency response planning based on repeated disaster drills conducted at KK, and should conduct additional drills, jointly with outside parties, contemplating even more serious disasters.

Dr. Dale Klein, chairman of the Reform Committee and former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, commented on the committee's report:

"I'm impressed by the great progress TEPCO has made both in water management and the fuel removal. The water represents a complex long-term challenge and there are difficult decisions that must be made if it is to be managed in a sustainable way. The safe and successful completion of the first phase of the Unit 4 fuel removal is a great milestone and a great credit to the hard work of many people at TEPCO and its partners."

Klein continued: "This is no time for complacency, and I am encouraged by a new safety culture that I see at TEPCO. For example, I believe the decision to insert a planned pause into the fuel removal schedule for a review and refinement of the process demonstrates movement towards enhanced safety culture."

Also commenting on the report was Lady Barbara Judge CBE, Deputy Chairman of the Reform Committee and Former Chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority. In addition to noting the progress on water management and fuel removal, she addressed the progress in safety culture and worker safety:

"Nuclear Safety Oversight Office (NSOO) has, under the leadership of Dr. John Crofts, carried out assessments of operational safety and of safety culture at all levels of management and reported the findings to the Board. TEPCO is making progress, but it's not going as fast as we'd like to, there are still reluctant by some of the members to ask hard questions. We need to teach people to be open and challenge and give instructive advice. Enhancing safety culture is a long journey."

"As President Hirose made clear at his press conference several weeks ago, improvements in worker safety and morale are intertwined with TEPCO's ability to make further progress. I am pleased to see that TEPCO is enhancing labor premiums, improving working conditions, and taking additional steps for the benefit of workers and their safety."

TEPCO President Naomi Hirose expressed his appreciation to the committee for its continued involvement. "We recognize the value of the deep experience our international advisers bring as they help us address complex challenges as we move forward. We appreciate the constructive recommendations they have made in their report, and we will integrate them into our work.

To see the pictures and video of the 5th Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee Meeting, 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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