Press Releases 2015


Efforts continue to extend "safety culture" to front-line supervisors and workers

TOKYO, February 3, 2015- Significant advances in securing nuclear fuel and in treating contaminated water were achieved at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station during the most recently completed quarter, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported today.

In its progress report for the third quarter of the company's fiscal year (October-December 2014), the company noted advances in adopting a culture that puts safety ahead of all other considerations, but also acknowledged that more must be done to ensure that front-line supervisors and workers, including those who work for TEPCO's contractors and partners on the site, embrace that culture. The report extends to all three of the company's nuclear facilities, including the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station in Niigata Prefecture, for which the company is seeking government approval to restart.

Dr. Dale Klein, the former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who chairs the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee overseeing TEPCO's progress in implementing its Nuclear Safety Reform Plan, commented on the report:

"The safe completion of the project to remove more than 1,500 fuel assemblies from Unit 4 deserves recognition, as a major technical achievement, as an advance in creating a safer environment, and as an example of how careful planning and an embrace of a safety-first culture can produce excellent results," Dr. Klein said. He noted, however, that "two fatal industrial-type accidents on the site in January underscore the need our Committee expressed at our December meeting, to ensure that the safety culture extends down to front-line workers throughout TEPCO, its partners and contractors."

Lady Barbara Judge CBE, former head of the U.K.'s Atomic Energy Authority and deputy chairman of TEPCO's monitoring committee, also commented on the report: "I, too, believe that while progress has been made on the goal of embracing the highest and best safety culture, more work must be done, including the adoption and use of appropriate key performance indicators. I am also pleased to note that the Nuclear Safety Oversight Office, which provides independent safety oversight and guidance directly to the TEPCO Board of Directors, is fully functioning and making serious and important contributions to the adoption of an effective safety culture."

Highlights of the Report

The quarterly report describes developments at the three nuclear facilities, as well as overall safety reforms undertaken by the company, such as management reforms and improvements in training and emergency readiness. Highlights include:

Unit 4 fuel removal: The removal of all fuel assemblies, new and used, was completed from Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4, safely and on schedule, resulting in a significantly safer environment for workers and providing important experience that will be useful in the removal of fuel from other units.

Water treatment: Various water treatment systems were enhanced and accelerated at Fukushima Daiichi, and although the initial March target for completion of treatment of contaminated water, it is expected that treatment will be completed only a few months later. Dr. Klein noted that while working with urgency is important, the adjustment of the target for completion of water treatment illustrates "the embrace of a safety culture that elevates safety and reliability over arbitrary and self-imposed schedules."

Measuring safety progress: Significant progress was made in development Key Performance Indicators to measure the extent to which the Nuclear Safety Reform Plan's safety recommendations, including adoption of a "safety culture," have been adopted throughout the company.

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa: Emergency preparedness drills at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station were expanded to include participation by Niigata Prefecture and the local communities, which was noted with approval at the Monitoring Committee's meeting.

The summary of the report is available online at Summary of Nuclear Safety Reform Plan Progress Report (3rd Quarter FY2014)PDF

The whole report may be found at Nuclear Safety Reform Plan Progress Report(3rd Quarter, 2014).PDF
A video of Dr. Klein discussing the report is available online at


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.
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