An IAEA expert mission completed a review of Japan's process for assessing nuclear safety at the nation's nuclear power plants on 31 January 2012.
The 10-member IAEA expert mission began in Tokyo on 23 January and delivered a Preliminary Summary Report to Japanese officials today. The mission was requested by the Japanese government in 2011, following the approval of the Nuclear Safety Action Plan by all IAEA Member States in September 2011.
The Action Plan defines a programme of work to strengthen the global nuclear safety framework, and it calls for nations to promptly undertake a national assessment of the design of nuclear power plants against extreme natural hazards and to implement corrective actions as needed.
To conduct its mission, the team held meetings in Tokyo with officials from Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the Japanese Nuclear Energy Safety Organization and the Kansai Electric Power Company, and the team the team visited the Ohi Nuclear Power Station to see an example of how Japan's Comprehensive Safety Assessment is being implemented by nuclear operators.
"We concluded that NISA's instructions to power plants and its review process for the Comprehensive Safety Assessments are generally consistent with IAEA Safety Standards," said team leader James Lyons, director of the IAEA's Nuclear Installation Safety Division.
The team found a number of good practices in Japan's review process and identified some improvements that would enhance the overall effectiveness of that process. The team will deliver those complete findings when it provides a final report to Japanese officials in several weeks.
The text of the Preliminary Summary Report is available here [pdf].