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Efforts to manage Fukushima Daiichi 3

Located in: Regulation and Safety

13 March 2011

Operations to relieve pressure in the containment of Fukushima Daiichi 3 have taken place after the failure of a core coolant system. Seawater is being injected to make certain of core cooling. Malfunctions have hampered efforts but there are strong indications of stability.

Battle to stabilise earthquake reactors

Located in: Regulation and Safety

12 March 2011

BWR cutaway

Attention remains focused on the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants as Japan struggles to cope in the aftermath of its worst earthquake in recorded history. A dramatic explosion did not damage containment and sea water injection continues through the night.

Massive earthquake hits Japan

Located in: Regulation and Safety

11 March 2011

Nuclear reactors shut down during today's massive earthquake in Japan. Work to stabilise three reactors at Fukushima Daiichi continues into the morning.


Reactors continue through earthquake

Located in: Industry Talk

09 March 2011

Nuclear power plants were barely affected by the Sanriku offshore earthquake that rocked Japan on 9 March at 11.45am. The earthquake measured 7.3 on the Richter scale and originated 160 kilometres offshore, some 8 kilometres underground. A tsunami warning was issued but in the end waves reached only 60cm high. Nuclear power plants on the Pacific coast that felt the quake include Onagawa, Higashidori and Fukushima Daini and Fukushima Daiichi. All the reactors at those plants operated as normal through the earthquake apart from two units that were already shut down for inspection. Diesel generators started automatically at Onagawa 2 on detection of the earthquake. Inspections at all the power plants found nothing unusual and operation continues.

Utilities apply for longer operation

Located in: Corporate

17 January 2011

Nuclear power companies in Japan are working to extend operational periods between mandatory inspections. Tepco and Tohoku are both applying to operate for 16 months between official checks.

Third Japanese reactor to load MOX

Located in: Industry Talk

10 August 2010

Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco's) Fukushima I unit 3 is set to become the third Japanese nuclear reactor to load mixed oxide (MOX) fuel after receiving approval from the governor of Fukushima Prefecture, Yukei Sato. The unit follows Kyushu Electric's Genkai 3, which started using MOX fuel in November 2009, and Shikoku's Ikata 3, which was loaded with some MOX fuel in March 2010. According to the Denki Shimbun, the 760 MWe boiling water reactor will be loaded with MOX fuel by 21 August and the unit will restart in late September. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has so far approved the use of MOX fuel in ten reactors, but utilities must also secure approval from prefectural governments before they can go ahead and use the fuel, which contains plutonium recovered from spent nuclear fuel.


Reactors operated normally through quake

Located in: Regulation and Safety

14 June 2008

Fukushima IUPDATED Four nuclear power plants, including 14 reactors, operated normally during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the prefecture of Iwate, northern Japan. A small amount of water was shaken pools at two of the reactors and a waste store.

New Japanese nuclear power reactors delayed

Located in: New Nuclear

26 March 2008

Tokyo Electric Power Co announced that the start of operation of four new nuclear power reactors would be delayed, while Electric Power Development Co said the start of construction of its Ohma plant had been postponed again.

Japan orders stricter checks at reactors

Located in: Regulation and Safety

20 April 2007

The Japanese government will order special inspections of some nuclear power plants after recent revelations of past safety lapses. Trade minister Akira Amari said that the special inspections could force utilities to shut nuclear power reactors in advance of scheduled closures for mandatory inspections.

Further Japanese revelations

Located in: Industry Talk

30 March 2007

[Asahi Shimbun, Kyodo, 30 March] Three further safety-related incidents have been uncovered in the Japanese Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry's purge of power operator's safety records. Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) admitted concealing an emergency shutdown of Fukushima 1 in 1984, and that in the late 1990s 34 of the unit's 137 control rods were dislodged by 15cm during an inspection. Workers corrected the rod positions immediately and there was no unintentional criticality. At that time, Tepco was not legally required to report the incident. In addition, Japan Atomic Power Company (Japco) admitted that a valve that compromised the airtight status of the continment vessel of Tsuruga 2 was hidden from inspectors before replacement two days later.

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