Monthly Press Conference
Today, President Kenji Kudo held a monthly press conference in Aomori City and talked about the "status of response to the New Regulatory Requirements", "status of response to corrective actions on quality assurance activities" and "award for distinguished technology development in the development of a new glass melter."
Status of Response to the New Regulatory Requirements
JNFL submitted the final amendment to its application for activity modification permission concerning the Uranium Enrichment Plant to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on the 14th of this month, and received an approval on the 19th of this month.
Of four facilities for which JNFL requested a New Regulatory Requirements compliance review in January 2014, the Uranium Enrichment Plant has become the first to have a review statement approved. This signifies a major step forward for JNFL.
With regard to the Reprocessing Plant and the Vitrified Waste Storage Center, JNFL finished providing a series of information at review meetings held up to last month, and on the 24th of this month, requested advance approval under the Safety Agreement from Aomori Prefecture and Rokkasho Village, which is a required process in respect to the New Regulatory Requirements.
Specific contents include applying seismic reinforcement in response to revision of the design-basis seismic ground motions, and implementing measures for preventing damage from an external impact, e.g. relocating chemical storage tanks to an underground site, and installing equipment for protecting facilities from lightening strike at important-to-safety facilities.
As soon as receiving relevant approval and finishing preparation work, JNFL plans to submit the final amendment to its application for activity modification permission concerning these facilities to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
JNFL also finished providing a series of information about the MOX Fuel Fabrication at review meetings held last month, and plans to submit an amendment as soon as preparation work is completed.
We will continue to make all-out efforts to complete the review process for each of our business activities, while proceeding further with engineering work for enhancing safety.
Status of Response to Corrective Actions on Quality Assurance Activities
All the corrective actions on the direct causes of safety activities were completed by the end of last month. Specific actions implemented include overhauling the structure of the Safety & Quality Management Division and the Audit Office, reforming the company-wide response committee and ensuring the autonomy of the Audit Office.
As for initiatives to address background factors, i.e. "human resources," "organizations," "mechanisms" and "corporate culture," JNFL has finished introducing guidelines for the Safety & Quality Management Division and updating guidelines on non-conformance management, etc. At present, employee education on the Quality Management System is being carried out.
As has already been reported, the Safety & Quality Reform Committee was set up last month to verify the status of these initiatives. On the 25th of this month, the Safety and Quality Reform Verification Committee was established, consisting mainly of external members, with the aim of having a third-party evaluation / advice to further promote company-wide reforms. The Committee is set to meet in around June.
We will continue to proceed with company-wide efforts for reforms.
"Award for Distinguished Technology Development in the Development of a New Glass Melter"
With support from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, JNFL has worked with IHI Corporation to develop a new type of glass melter for use at the Reprocessing Plant. On the 28th of last month, the Atomic Energy Society of Japan awarded JNFL "Award for distinguished technology development," which JNFL received for the first time, recognizing that we have achieved significant advancement in Japan’s vitrification technology and contributed to broadening interest in this field.
"Technological capacity" and "frontline strength" are the driving force of our business activities. Having our "technological capacity" recognized this way is a tremendous honor and significant encouragement to our employees at the forefront of technological development.
We will continue to work on the development of innovative technologies.