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Japan’s Kansai Electric used possibly falsified Mitsubishi Materials products at reactors

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Co said on Wednesday it has used parts in important safety equipment at two of its nuclear plants that were supplied by a unit of Mitsubishi Materials Corp with possibly falsified data.
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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Co said on Wednesday it has used parts in important safety equipment at two of its nuclear plants that were supplied by a unit of Mitsubishi Materials Corp with possibly falsified data.
Mitsubishi Materials Corp. President Akira Takeuchi (2nd R) bows with Executive Vice President Naoki Ono (2nd L), Mitsubishi Shindoh Co. President Kazumasa Hori (L) and Mitsubishi Cable Industries Ltd. President Hiroaki Murata during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan November 24, 2017.
The utility has found it is using rubber seals from Mitsubishi Cable Industries with possible falsified specifications in dozens of locations at its Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants, a spokesman said, confirming Japanese media reports.
The discovery comes after Kansai Electric delayed the restart of one of the nuclear power stations because it needs to make checks on parts supplied by Japan’s Kobe Steel Ltd, which, like Mitsubishi Materials, is embroiled in a scandal over product specifications.
The utility has told Japan’s nuclear regulator that it has not found any immediate safety issues, the spokesman said.
Kansai Electric receives rubber seals from multiple suppliers and is having difficulties identifying which ones come from Mitsubishi Materials, he said. The company does not plan to switch suppliers, the spokesman said.
Rubber seals are used in large numbers in the extensive piping found in nuclear reactors and their cooling systems and can be subject to high temperatures and pressure.
Mitubishi Materials and Mitsubishi Cable both declined to comment on Wednesday.
Mitsubishi Materials previously said it had discovered that products with falsified specifications had been sent to more than 300 of its customers.
That was the latest in a slew of scandals to rock Japan’s manufacturing industry. Apart from Kobe Steel, similar lapses on specifications have been found at Toray Industries Inc and incorrect final inspection procedures were discovered by automakers Nissan Motor Co and Subaru Corp.
Kansai Electric’s delays and checks on Ohi reactors are further hitches to the protracted reboot of Japan’s nuclear sector, shut down in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
Kansai Electric does not plan to close down the Takahama station for checks, or expect any additional delays on the restart of Ohi, the spokesman said.
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December 21, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mitsubishi Heavy, Japan Nuclear Fuel to invest in France’s Areva

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. is reportedly making final arrangements to invest tens of billions of yen in French atomic energy company Areva jointly with Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. are making final arrangements to invest tens of billions of yen in atomic energy company Areva, which is being bailed out by the French government, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

Through the investment, the heavy machinery manufacturer and the spent-fuel reprocessing firm hope to improve technical cooperation with Areva on decommissioning reactors and reprocessing nuclear fuel.

Areva has been reeling from weak global demand since the 2011 Fukushima disaster triggered a slump in the nuclear power industry.

Areva is being bailed out by the French government, which has been asking Mitsubishi Heavy to invest since last year.

MHI President Shunichi Miyanaga had said that investing in Areva, which has expertise in decommissioning procedures and fuel reprocessing, would benefit Japan as it faces the prospect of decommissioning more aging nuclear reactors amid high public concern over nuclear safety.

A major Chinese nuclear power company is also considering investing in the state-owned group.

Mitsubishi Heavy is also planning to invest in Areva’s plant-building arm in hopes of winning orders to build nuclear power plants in emerging economies where demand is growing.

The heavy machinery maker and Areva are already involved in a joint venture to develop nuclear plants with advanced reactors.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/12/08/business/corporate-business/mitsubishi-heavy-japan-nuclear-fuel-invest-frances-areva/#.WEtA0Vzia-d

December 9, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan Nuclear Industry on the Defensive

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METI proposed that TEPCO would start a subsidiary to manage all its nuclear plants. Saying it would facilitate restarting the reactors at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa NPP, as since the beginning of the Tepco-owned Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster the government planned to use profits from the Tepco-owned Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP to finance the Fukushima Daiichi disaster costs;  and that it would also encourage collaboration among other utilities nuclear power plants, and make merger or sale easier. METI thinks such change would also encourage the public to support nuclear reactors restarting.

As the total decommissionning costs could double, Tepco would also like the rules to be changed so as not take an added large loss on their books.

One day later Hitachi announced that they consider merging their nuclear business with Toshiba and Mistubishi.

These recent new developments show Japan nuclear industry on the defensive, former PM Koizumi warned the Liberal Democratic Party could lose the next election if it focuses on the nuclear power issue.

https://dunrenard.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/industry-ministry-unveils-plan-to-split-nuclear-power-division-from-tepco/

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment