IAEA Issues Report on Mission to Review Japan's Nuclear Power Plant Safety Assessment Process
A team of international nuclear safety experts has delivered its report on a mission it conducted from 21-31 January 2012 to review Japan's process for assessing nuclear safety at the nation's nuclear power plants. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials delivered the IAEA Mission Report to Japanese officials yesterday and made it publicly available today.
Following the 11 March 2011 accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) announced the development of a revised safety assessment process for the nation's nuclear power reactors. At the request of the Government of Japan, the IAEA organized a team of five IAEA and three international nuclear safety experts and visited Japan to review NISA's approach to the Comprehensive Assessments for the Safety of Existing Power Reactor Facilities and how NISA examines the results submitted by nuclear operators. A Preliminary Summary Report was issued on 31 January.
"The mission report provides additional information regarding the team's recommendations and overall finding 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.
National safety assessments and their peer review by the IAEA are a key component of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was approved by the Agency's Member States following last year's nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
The IAEA safety review mission held meetings in Tokyo with officials from NISA, the Japanese Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES), and the Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO), and 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.
In its report delivered today, the team highlighted good practices and also identified improvements that would enhance the overall effectiveness of the Comprehensive Safety Assessment process.
"I hope nuclear regulators around the world use this report as a tool to evaluate their own safety assessment processes," Lyons said. "We must learn the lessons of the Fukushima Daiichi accident so we can prevent a repeat of those terrible events a year ago."
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