October 28, 2016

Monthly Press Conference

Today, President Kenji Kudo held a monthly press conference in Aomori City and talked about "Status of response to the New Regulatory Requirements" and "Consignment of operations from the Nuclear Reprocessing Organization of Japan."

Status of response to the New Regulatory Requirements

JNFL has thus far responded to reviews on compliance with New Regulatory Requirements concerning the Reprocessing Plant, MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant, Uranium Enrichment Plant, and the waste management facility. Explanations on both the Uranium Enrichment Plant and waste management facility have been completed.

JNFL briefed on all items including severe accident countermeasures at the September 29 Uranium Enrichment Plant review meeting. With regard to the waste management facility, at the October 12 review meeting JNFL explained the basic policy on seismic design along with responses to the aging of storage pits. At both meetings, JNFL received general understanding from reviewers.

As for the Uranium Enrichment Plant, JNFL applied for compliance with new regulatory requirements in January 2014. Since then it engaged in review meetings upon conducting many hearings with the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, organizing key points, and reinforcing the Plant’s framework. As a result, JNFL managed to complete its briefings after around two years and ten months since filing the application.

JNFL is planning to submit an amendment statement in November, which will contain details explained in previous review meetings.

With regard to the Reprocessing Plant, JNFL explained in the October 18 review meeting about the influence which, when damaged, equipment that is capable of resisting earthquakes as well as or better than the Plant’s building/vitrification cell would generate. JNFL also briefed the approach to responding to such damages, along with the design policy for the new emergency headquarters it plans to establish. In the review meeting on November 2, JNFL will explain about: issues pointed out thus far; the radiation monitoring equipment to share with the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant when responding to severe accidents, and; the framework under accidents.

With regard to the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant, many hearings have been conducted on revised details, such as the design basis and severe accident responses. JNFL plans to provide a briefing at the November 4 review meeting.

Reviews on each of the facilities are making steady progress.

JNFL is promoting safety enhancement works that are operable in advance.

Examples include works to establish firebreaks in the outer fringes of the Uranium Enrichment Plant, along with works to drill a reservoir/fuel storage tank and install additional pipe supports/protection nets as tornado countermeasures for the Reprocessing Plant. In regards to the reservoir, JNFL drilled down to around 15 meters out of the planned depth of approximately 20 meters.

Consignment of operations from the Nuclear Reprocessing Organization of Japan

Following the October 3 inauguration of the Nuclear Reprocessing Organization of Japan (NuRO), NuRO’s first Steering Committee was convened on October 11. Members of the Committee appointed its Chairperson and decided to consign NuRO’s reprocessing operations to JNFL. NuRO’s business plan and other particulars were approved by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry on October 25.

JNFL will accept the Steering Committee’s decision with sincerity. Harnessing the experience and specialized knowledge accumulated thus far, JNFL will continue to execute its operations on the premise of securing safety.