Advisory group sees progress at Fukushima Daiichi

30 March 2016

Members of the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee yesterday toured the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan and noted progress in decommissioning and working conditions at the site.

NRMC at Fukushima Daiichi - 460 (Tepco)
Masuda (left) leads the three committee members (Judge, Klein and Sakurai) on an inspection of the site (Image: Tepco)

The committee was established in September 2012 as an advisory body to Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco's) board of directors and comprises five domestic and international experts. It is an independent committee that conducts external monitoring and supervision of the activities of the Nuclear Reform Special Task Force set up by Tepco.

Although each member of the committee has previously visited the Fukushima Daiichi site, some on multiple occasions, this was the first time a team from the committee had formally toured the site, Tepco noted.

The group - comprising committee chairman Dale Klein, deputy chairman Lady Barbara Judge and committee member Masafumi Sakurai - was led on the tour by Tepco's chief decommissioning officer Naohiro Masuda.

They were shown a variety of facilities and reviewed various improvements. These included the seismically isolated management building; various aspects of water management; the new incineration facility for solid waste; a new drainage channel; and a new large rest building for workers.

Klein, former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said: "We have been impressed by what we have seen. I have visited on a number of occasions before, and each time I see steady progress being made in what we all realize is a very long-term process."

Judge, chairman emeritus of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, added, "The workers here are to be commended for making progress in a challenging environment, and I am particularly glad to see their working conditions so dramatically improved."

The committee did not hold a formal meeting during its inspection of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Its next meeting is likely to be scheduled between April and June, during which it will review Tepco's self-evaluation of its progress in implementing the Nuclear Safety Reform Plan. That plan, adopted three years ago, established the committee to oversee its implementation. The committee has been receiving quarterly progress reports.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News