Safety assessment sought for Tokai 2

20 May 2014

Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC) has requested a safety review of unit 2 at its Tokai plant in Ibaraki prefecture. It becomes the eighteenth Japanese reactor to seek permission to restart.

Tokai 2 - 400 (NRA)
Tokai 2 (Image: NRA)

The company's chief vice president Hiroshi Masuda submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) today for a safety assessment of Tokai 2 to verify whether measures taken at the plant meet new safety standards.

Tokai 2 - a 1060 MWe boiling water reactor - becomes the eighteenth Japanese reactor to apply for regulatory approval to restart. Having started commercial operation in 1978, it is the oldest of the reactors to have applied for a safety review.

JAPC has implemented several safety measures at the Tokai plant, including building an 18-metre high tsunami protection wall and installing a filtered venting system. The NRA is likely to pay particular attention to fire prevention measures at Tokai as, unlike the other plants, it was built without flameproof electric cables. However, in its application JAPC said that it will cover 18,500 metres of cables with a flame-retardant coating so that they meet the new safety standards.

Revised regulations were announced by the NRA in July 2013, which must be met before plants can secure permission from the NRA to restart. These set out essential requirements enabling plants to respond to a variety of natural phenomena as well as establishing new measures to mitigate the effects of severe accidents, such as reactor core damage caused by beyond design basis events.

At launch, the regulatory process for restart was hoped to take about six months, but the first applications were submitted in July last year and it is still not clear when the initial units might restart.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News