Tepco and Sellafield cooperate on communications

11 April 2016

Sellafield Limited and Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) have drawn up plans to assist each other with communications related to their respective decommissioning activities. These plans follow the signing of a cooperation agreement in 2014.

In a joint statement, the companies announced today that they have issued a White Paper - referred to as the "Fukushima-West Cumbria Study" - describing how they will work together to improve each other's efforts to communicate and engage with stakeholders.

The aim of the White Paper is to share Sellafield's 60 years of experience in England's West Cumbria, and Tepco's five years of experience in decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi. One objective, Tepco said, is to expand the dialogue beyond the two companies to include the West Cumbria and Fukushima communities.

Sellafield Ltd and Tepco agreed to cooperate in decommissioning in May 2014 and signed a statement setting out the objectives and significance of their agreement. They said one area of non-technical cooperation relates to communication with local people.

Tony Price, Sellafield Ltd's managing director at that time, said: "We serve similar communities, and I know one thing the Japanese are keen to mirror is the way in which we work with our local community to inform them about the work we do in an open, transparent and proactive manner."

The cooperation statement was followed with the signing in September the same year of a formal agreement to enable the transfer of knowledge and experience between the two companies. The four main areas set for information exchange through that agreement were: site management; environmental monitoring; radiation protection; and, project delivery and design engineering.

Sellafield Ltd and Tepco noted that the publication of the White Paper is a result of that cooperation agreement.

Sellafield Ltd's head of policy Phil Hallington said, "It is immensely important for Sellafield Ltd and Tepco to have a cooperative relationship, one as an operator to operator, for decommissioning at both Sellafield and Fukushima. Benefits we are seeing at Sellafield Ltd are giving us insights for delivering risks and hazard reduction sooner."

Naohiro Masuda, Tepco's chief decommissioning officer, said: "Tepco is proceeding with decommissioning steadily, putting safety as top priority with support and cooperation from both domestic and international organizations, to fulfil its responsibility to the Fukushima community."

Tepco displayed a Fukushima Daiichi mapping system, utilising geographic information system technology, at the Decommissioning Technology Exhibition held yesterday and today alongside the first International Forum on the Decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The mapping system uses technology developed by Sellafield to provide advanced analytical mapping at the plant.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News