Key Point of President's Regular Press Conference
Key Point of President's Regular Press Conference
November 2014 Regular Press Conference : President Mizuno's Message
November 26, 2014
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
- First of all, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to those affected by the earthquake which occurred on the 22nd of this month, with its epicenter in northern Nagano.
- I would also like to apologize for the inconvenience caused to customers in the regions with power outages resulting from the earthquake.
- Today I would like to speak about the following three points.
- International Contributions Utilizing Decommissioned Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit 1
- Holding of the "Chubu Electric Power Co. Meeting on Improving Nuclear Safety Improvement Advisory Board"
- Initiatives toward encouraging the active involvement of women
International Contributions Utilizing Decommissioned Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit 1
- First, I would like to talk about the "International Contributions Utilizing Decommissioned Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit 1"
- Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Units 1 and 2 terminated operations in January, 2009, and subsequently moved to the decommissioning stage starting in November of the same year.
- This decommissioning will span across a period of approximately 30 years, until the mid-2030's, and the entire implementation period until completion is divided up from Stage 1 to Stage 4.
- Currently, decommissioning is in the "period of preparation for dismantling work", of Stage 1, under which work such as "system decontamination," "radioactive status studies of facilities," and "work plan studies" are being conducted.
- Starting next year, we plan to move into Stage 2, "period of dismantling and removal of reactor zone peripheral equipment," and begin the dismantling of equipment surrounding the reactor, excluding the body itself.
- The decommissioning of Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Units 1 and 2 marks the first decommissioning for a domestic commercial light water reactor. While safely performing the decommissioning, Chubu Electric Power decided to conduct studies to contribute to the improvement of long-term safe operation and decommissioning technologies for nuclear power stations.
- There are two items for research. The first is the "change of material properties," a research to confirm the soundness of how much the equipment and structure materials of reactor pressure vessel and reactor containment vessel are influenced by radiation. The second item is research on the "radioactivity status," to gain an understanding of the radiation distribution within the reactor pressure vessel.
- Although it is necessary to collect structural materials of reactor pressure vessels and containment vessels from an actual plant for these two studies, we have never collected structural materials from operating reactors due to the fact that it would impact safe operation.
- Therefore, in the past, for the "change of material properties" research, assessments were made using test pieces for monitoring, and for the "radioactivity status" research, assessments were made using calculations instead of actual measurements.
- We have decided to perform a study on structural material collected from the reactor of Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 as a study that can be conducted precisely because the plant is decommissioned.
- As cases of collecting structural materials for studies are rare both domestically and internationally, in addition to our own studies, we have decided to participate in the international projects planned by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the "change of material properties" research, and on the other hand, have decided to conduct the "radioactivity status" research collectively with the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
(Participation in IAEA International Projects)
- First I would like to go over the "IAEA International Projects" that we have decided to participate in.
- Against a backdrop of promoting the decommissioning of nuclear power stations in various countries around the world, the IAEA has been moving forward with plans to conduct international projects over a four-year long period for assessing the soundness of reactor materials utilizing decommissioned power stations.
- The aim of this project is the improvement of technology to grasp in what way material properties of reactor pressure vessels, reactor core structures, and containment vessel structural materials changed due to operation, and to gain valuable knowledge for the safe operation of a nuclear power station over a long period of time.
- The IAEA will collect data that can be gained from research on structural materials collected from plants in the progress of decommissioning in various countries around the world to obtain new knowledge regarding the "change of material properties."
- Chubu Electric Power will continue to contribute to the improvement of nuclear power station operation and maintenance management technology by providing the IAEA with research results obtained from the structural materials collected at Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit 1.
- Through lateral development of the new knowledge obtained from this project to countries with nuclear power stations, IAEA plans to help the long-term operation of international nuclear power stations.
(Collective Research with the EPRI)
- Continuing on, I would like to talk about the collective research with the U.S Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
- Usually, the nuclear "radioactivity status" is assessed by calculation, and assessments using actual plant materials are extremely rare.
- Starting this month, we decided to carry out research collectively with the EPRI on the "radioactivity status," using a structural material collected from Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit 1.
- Through this research, in addition to gaining an understanding of the actual conditions of the radiation distribution within the reactor pressure vessel, by comparing and analyzing the results of the "radioactivity status study" using the collected structural material with the assessments found through calculations conducted in the conventional manner, we are planning to improve the accuracy of future radiation distribution assessment methods.
- We believe that the results of the collective research can be utilized for dismantling work, dismantling waste treatment, and disposal plans, while also expanding to the improvement of nuclear power station decommissioning technology in Japan and overseas through the EPRI.
- Our idea for this research is to continue to contribute to the development of safe operation technology and decommissioning technology for nuclear power stations over the long term in Japan and overseas by actively utilizing the decommissioned Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit 1.
Holding of the "Chubu Electric Power Co. Meeting on Improving Nuclear Safety Improvement Advisory Board"
- Next, I would like to talk about Holding of the "Chubu Electric Power Co. Meeting on Improving Nuclear Safety Improvement Advisory Board"
- We at Chubu Electric Power are working to reduce risks associated with nuclear power more than ever before. In June of this year, we compiled and announced a "Roadmap" with initiatives and schedules, with the purpose of further strengthening efforts to improve safety.
- As one of the initiatives raised in this "Roadmap," we have decided to set up an "Advisory Board" to allow us to utilize the knowledge from the "Meeting on Improving Nuclear Safety" standing management meeting that I lead, as well as foreign experts from outside of the company, for initiatives aimed at improving safety.
- Thus far, the "Meeting on Improving Nuclear Safety" has been held in September and November, and the first round for the "Advisory Board" is to be held on December 1.
- For the "Advisory Board," we have asked outside experts from a broad spectrum, including those from Universities, industries, and crisis management and environmental fields for their opinions on improving the safety of the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station.
- In the "Advisory Board" to be held in December, we plan to hear opinions regarding our overall initiatives as a company on safety improvements for the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station, based on discussions held in the "Meeting on Improving Nuclear Safety" thus far. A notification on the summary of the opinions will be shared on our company home page.
- We will continue to make each and every one of the initiatives listed in the "Roadmap" effective actions, and strive to make Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station the safest power plant in the world.
Initiatives toward encouraging the active involvement of women
- Last, I would like to talk about the ” Initiatives toward encouraging the active involvement of women”
- We have positioned the promotion of diversity, including women, as an operational challenge. A dedicated organization was established in 2007, and we have been actively involved with this issue.
- As a result, although the number of women at administrative positions has increased by 1.6x in the seven years since the establishment of the dedicated organization, the percentage of women regarding the overall number of personnel at administrative positions has stopped at 1.8%, showing that our diversity is not yet sufficient.
- Promoting female employees is an urgent issue. In order to advance this more effectively, we have decided to address it by setting a target.
- Specifically, the target is to aim for greater than 2x the number of women at administrative positions in FY2014, by FY2020.
- Working towards achievement of this goal, in addition to strengthening training designed for female employees, we have plans to provide duties and implement personnel changes for accelerating the growth of female employees.
- Amidst environmental changes in the power industry, such as the full liberalization of power, etc., we would like to regard this change as an opportunity to bring up staffs, including women, that would boldly take on these shifts.
- That is all for me.