Extraordinary Press Conference
Schedule Change of Completion of Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant
In order to improve safety by complying with the New Regulatory Requirements, the timing of the completion of Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant has been changed from March 2016 to the first half of Japanese Fiscal Year 2018, and the timing of the completion of the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant has been changed from October 2017 to the first half of Japanese Fiscal Year 2019. We have informed Aomori Prefecture Vice-Governor Yuji Aoyama, Prefectural Assembly Speaker Etsurou Shimizu, Rokkasho Village Mayor Mamoru Toda and Village Assembly Speaker Takaharu Hashimoto of these changes.
At the same time, we have included these new dates on application forms for making changes to the permissions required respectively for the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant, and submitted these forms to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
We had been doing all that we could to comply with the New Regulatory Requirements for the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant, and were intending to complete the plant by March 2016, but the assessments are taking time, and it seems difficult for the deadline to be met.
With regard to recent assessments for the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant , we have, in addition to receiving a degree of understanding for the design standards, also explained our basic stance and individual measures with regard to severe accidents, and an efficacy evaluation is currently underway. Furthermore, we believe we have received general understanding for an increasing number of items for the evaluation related to seismic resistance, particularly for items concerning the plant's premises and issues on the land.
We have decided to make changes to the completion date of the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant after taking into account the status of various assessments, and acquiring prospects for the future after deliberating the required work periods of various construction works, in particular long-term works and its required work periods, to improve safety in complying with the New Regulatory Requirements.
(1) Information on major construction works
The first work is regarding the emergency response facility. As this facility was built prior to the enactment of the New Regulatory Requirements (completed in July 2011), it has been decided, reflecting on the Chuetsu-Offshore earthquake in Niigata Prefecture, that potential simultaneous occurrences of severe accidents should be taken into account and preparations for a solid response should be made by securing approximately twice the size of the current emergency response facility which has around 200 staff at the moment. We will drill down to the bedrock to anchor the newly-built facilities directly to the bedrock and ensure such facilities can withstand earthquakes.
The second major work is the water storage tank which was also built before the enactment of the New Regulatory Requirements. To ensure the tank can function as a water source for purposes including the cooling of the high-level wastewater as required in a response to a potential severe accident, the water tank will be, in the same way as the emergency response facility, directly anchored to the bedrock, in order to ensure sufficient seismic resistance.
The third major work is the reinforcement work for equipment including the piping with a seismic resistance class of B and C, which will be carried out to improve the ability of the equipment to withstand an earthquake and ensure there is no impact on the facilities from the leakage of water or chemicals. The planned work volume has increased as a result of increasing the number of facilities subject to protection against internal flooding.
(2) It is expected that the completion of the above works will require around 2.5 years, and work will also continue steadily on work including the installation of an emergency-shutoff valve to combat internal flooding as well as work to repair the facility against tornadoes.
We will endeavor to streamline work and reduce lead-times for future work where possible, while giving the highest priority to safety. However, as various procedures will be required for assessments and subsequent approval of design and work methods, the new completion timing has been set during the first half of Japanese Fiscal Year 2018.
MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant
Taking account of the status of assessments for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant, and as a result of deliberating the design changes and other factors thought necessary to meet the New Regulatory Requirements, we have decided to change the completion date.
(1) Major design changes
The first of these projects is modifying the Glovebox so that it meets the S class requirements for seismic resistance. Seismic resistance for the Glovebox, which handles MOX in a powdered form, will be strengthened from Class B to Class S.
The second project is the new installation of equipment including the fire dampers, and this work is being implemented in order to further strengthen measures to prevent fires from spreading.
(2) With regards to the completion date, the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant is in the initial stages of construction and, in addition to the construction of buildings that is currently underway, additional installation work including the design changes described above are projected to take approximately 3.5 years.
We will endeavor to streamline work and reduce lead-times for future projects where possible, while giving the highest priority to safety. However, as various procedures will be required for assessments and subsequent approval of design and work methods, the new completion period has been set during the first half of Japanese Fiscal Year 2019.
As we move to implement these new processes, we will prioritize safety above all else. All of the JNFL’s business is made possible with the trust from local community. We are always fully aware of this, designating as an effort to build a new level of safety, and will continue to make solid company-wide efforts with the best possible systems in place.