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JNFL’s application for examination of a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant was criticized by the Regulatory Commission for “lacking a sense of urgency”

JNFL Senior Managing Executive Officer Rei Sudo (left) and others explain at the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s review meeting in Minato-ku, Tokyo.

November 22, 2022
JNFL found multiple errors in the seismic calculation results of the application it submitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority during the examination required for the operation of its reprocessing plant for spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants in Rokkasho Village, Aomori Prefecture. The errors were discovered when the Nuclear Regulation Commission pointed them out to JNFL. Even two years after the application was submitted, NNFL continues to reveal its inadequacies, and there is no prospect that the review will be completed.
 The errors were in the results of seismic calculations for the cooling tower fire detectors, which NNFL submitted on November 8 in the form of an amendment to its application. According to NNFL, when the results of the seismic calculations were transcribed into the application, incorrect values were entered in several places. Although the documents were checked before submission, the mistake was not noticed. The cause of the error has not been disclosed, saying that it is under investigation. The correction will be corrected and resubmitted in the future.
 According to the secretariat of the regulatory commission, the error in the calculation results was so simple that a person with expert knowledge would be able to recognize it at a glance.
At the review meeting held on March 15, the person in charge at the secretariat of the regulatory commission commented, “In the review of facility design, making a mistake in numerical values is a definite and serious problem,” and “It is the most rudimentary of rudiments. Why don’t they notice it? Why don’t they realize this? They have no sense of crisis at all. Rei Sudo, executive vice president of Nenryo, who is in charge of handling the review, simply stated, “This is something that really shouldn’t happen. We take this very seriously.
 The reprocessing plant, a core facility under the government’s nuclear fuel cycle policy, met the new regulatory standards for basic accident countermeasures in July 2020, and in December of the same year, JNFL applied for a review of detailed facility designs and construction plans. However, there has been no significant progress since the application stage due to inadequate explanations from NNFL.
 In September of this year, NNFL announced for the 26th time that it was postponing the completion of the plant due to the difficulties encountered in the review process. The company plans to announce the next target date for completion by the end of this year, but the examination process will inevitably become even more difficult due to the discovery of numerical errors. (Kenta Onozawa)


November 27, 2022 - Posted by | Japan | , ,

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