Report 443

jaif.or.jp

Report 443

We have been reporting a status of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station by

summarizing news aired by NHK, which is Japanese national broadcasting company.

We regard it as most credible news among many news sources and we are happy to say

that NHK’s English website has gotten enriched and now you can see movies and

English scripts at http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/society.html.

Given this situation, we decide to simply place these scripts as it is for the record in case

that it will be deleted from the website later, rather than summarizing news as we did.

No. 443: June 14

NHK news regarding status of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station

yesterday and today.

(Fukushima NPP Site)

(Other news)

●TEPCO studied huge tsunamis in in-house training

●Video conferences mulled for nuclear emergencies

●Ohi town agrees to reactor restart

●Parties agree on new nuclear regulatory body

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●TEPCO studied huge tsunamis in in-house training

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it failed to make use of an in-house study

that estimated the extent of damage by huge tsunamis on nuclear reactors.

A group of TEPCO employees conducted a study in 2006 to determine what

would happen at the plant's No.5 reactor if it was hit by waves higher than 5.7

meters, the maximum height assumed by the company.

The group estimated that if the waves exceeded 13.5 meters, all power would be

lost and it would be impossible to inject water into the reactor.

The study also said it would cost about 25 million dollars to implement measures

to prevent such an occurrence.

TEPCO says the study session was conducted as training for junior employees,

and that the company did not really expect such a large tsunami.

It says it brought up the issue of tsunami damage at the training because a

government panel was discussing the effects of large waves on nuclear reactors

following the massive Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

TEPCO made another estimate in 2008 to determine the effects of a 10-meterhigh

tsunami on nuclear reactors.

But on both occasions, the company failed to make use of the studies' results and

did not take any measures against possible disasters.

Jun. 13, 2012 - Updated 06:11 UTC (15:11 JST)

●Video conferences mulled for nuclear emergencies

The government is considering introducing a video conferencing system that

would enable municipalities within 30 kilometers of a nuclear power plant to

maintain contact with the central government and power companies in case of an

emergency.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency proposed the plan at a meeting with

nuclear disaster experts on Wednesday. They discussed emergency response

systems for accidents at nuclear power plants.

The off-site emergency response center for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power

plant lost its communication system following last year's March 11 earthquake

and tsunami and became unusable due to causes such as high radiation levels.

The off-site center handles the evacuation of local residents.

The government hopes to establish the video conferencing system by the end of

March 2013.

The measure is in line with another plan to extend the disaster preparedness

zones around nuclear power plants from 10 kilometers to 30 kilometers.

The government has also proposed a plan to connect the Prime Minister's Official

Residence with the Ohi nuclear power plant and its operator, Kansai Electric

Power Company, in connection with the plan's restart.

Some experts have said that emergency response centers for nuclear reactors

should be established in prefectural government offices.

The agency will hold further meetings to establish tentative criteria for the offsite

centers.

Jun. 13, 2012 - Updated 08:46 UTC (17:46 JST)

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●Ohi town agrees to reactor restart

The mayor of Ohi town in Fukui Prefecture has approved the restart of 2 nuclear

reactors in his town.

Mayor Shinobu Tokioka told a meeting at the municipal assembly on Thursday

that he has decided to agree to the restart of the No.3 and No.4 reactors at Ohi

nuclear plant. The 2 reactors have been offline for routine safety checks.

Tokioka gave as a reason for his decision the public appeal by Prime Minister

Yoshihiko Noda last week to resume plant operations to meet the nation's energy

demand.

He also cited the positive safety assessment by a panel of nuclear power experts

set up by Fukui Prefecture.

Tokioka said nuclear energy is necessary for a certain period to revitalize Japan's

industry.

He said he will convey his decision later on Thursday to prefectural Governor

Issei Nishikawa.

Nishikawa says he will decide the issue based on the will of Ohi town and the

prefectural assembly which favors a restart.

Jun. 14, 2012 - Updated 03:05 UTC (12:05 JST)

●Parties agree on new nuclear regulatory body

Three main Japanese political parties have reached a final agreement on a bill to

set up a new nuclear regulatory organization.

Officials of the governing Democratic Party and 2 opposition parties, the Liberal

Democrats and New Komeito, sealed the deal on Thursday.

The agreement paves the way for launching a new regulatory commission by

September. Independence of the commission would be legally guaranteed. The

current Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency belongs to the Economy, Trade and

Industry Ministry.

A final point of agreement reached on Thursday involved a council to be set up in

the Cabinet, tasked with studying nuclear disaster preparedness.

The Prime Minister would preside over the council, which would consist of all

cabinet ministers. The head of the new regulatory commission would serve as its

deputy chair along with the chief cabinet secretary and the environment minister.

A standing secretariat would also be set up in the Cabinet Office to ensure that

the central and local governments will properly carry out guidelines set by the

new regulatory commission.

Yoshito Sengoku, Acting Chair of the Democratic Party Policy Research

Committee, says the council will see to it that disaster drills and all other

administrative measures are in place against any disasters.

Jun. 14, 2012 - Updated 06:11 UTC (15:11 JST)

END

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