The Japan Nuclear Safety Institute (JANSI) has been launched to improve the safety of Japan's nuclear industry by sharing operating experience and safety knowledge among the country's nuclear companies.
The new body represents an evolution of cooperation in nuclear safety that started after the 1999 Tokai criticality accident. At that time, electric power companies, along with enterprises involved with the nuclear industry established the Nuclear Safety Network (NSnet). The network's main activities were to enhance the safety culture of the nuclear industry, conduct peer reviews, and disseminate information about nuclear safety.
"Based on lessons learned from insufficient efforts in the past and with a renewed commitment to make ongoing improvements, we will constantly strive to achieve the world's highest level of nuclear safety."
Chairman of FEPC
In 2005 this was incorporated into the Japan Nuclear Technology Institute (JANTI), as the Safety Culture Division. Peer reviews 'tailored to the corporate structure' were implemented periodically for members of NSnet involved in the nuclear fuel cycle of Japan. JANTI's Operating Experience Analysis Division collected and analyzed operating experience information that was previously handled by the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) Nuclear Information Center.
JANSI has now been established on the foundations of JANTI, which currently has 123 member companies. Launching the reorganized organization, Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) chairman Makoto Yagi said that JANSI's aim is to improve safety at nuclear power plants "by ensuring the completeness of measures including severe accident management based on lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station."
"With independence and strong leadership, JANSI will collect and analyze the latest inputs from domestic and overseas sources that are relevant to the improvement of safety, evaluate the technical aspects of the safety improvement activities of electric utilities, and firmly guide the utilities' activities by offering advice and support," Yagi said.
He noted that if problems are identified at individual companies, they will "be assumed to be industry-wide problems". He said that Japan's nuclear industry aims to improve safety "by jointly solving any issues in a spirit of friendly rivalry."
Yagi said that, as Japan has very few energy resources of its own, the country must seek diverse energy options while maintaining safety, energy security, economic stability and environmental protection. This, he stressed, "requires the continued use of nuclear power as an important generation option, premised on nuclear safety."
"Based on lessons learned from insufficient efforts in the past and with a renewed commitment to make ongoing improvements, we will constantly strive to achieve the world's highest level of nuclear safety," Yagi announced.
JANSI is expected to operate in a similar manner to the USA's Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), which was set up after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 to share operating experience and safety knowledge among US nuclear companies. It was supplemented by an international version - the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) - after the 1986 Chernobyl accident. WANO and other organizations will provide guidance for JANSI's operation, as well as peer reviewing the institute's recommendations.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News