Other Press Conferences
President's Press Conference on Postponement in MOX Fuel Program at Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit No. 4
December 06, 2010
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
Today we are announcing a postponement in the MOX fuel program at Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit No. 4.
- Chubu Electric Power today decided to postpone its MOX fuel program for Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit No. 4, a program which was to be implemented this fiscal year.
- It was decided we will not load the 28 MOX fuel assemblies during the currently proceeding regular inspection.
- Chubu Electric Power is proceeding with the necessary licensing procedures (e.g., for authorization to modify the reactor installation) in preparation for the MOX fuel program at Unit No. 4 and is working to ensure safety.
- Concerning Unit 4's safety in the event of seismic activity, we are proceeding with seismic design that incorporates a safety margin, based on seismic motion with sufficient margin not only for the anticipated Tokai earthquake, but also the even greater historic Ansei-Tokai earthquake, and we believe we have ensured sufficient safety.
- Members of the regional community have asked us for an explanation of Unit No. 4's seismic safety, but we have determined that at this point some time will be necessary to meet this request, for the following two reasons, and that therefore the MOX fuel program will be postponed.
- The first reason is that the national government gave greater priority to a deliberation of the factors, etc., involved in the fact that tremors in Unit No. 5 were greater than in other units during the Suruga Bay earthquake. Because Chubu Electric Power was responding to this deliberation, we did not make progress on our examination necessary for the deliberation of a seismic safety assessment of Unit No. 4 in terms of the new seismic durability guidelines.
- The second reason is that, as a result, we are not yet prepared to provide an explanation of the status of deliberations on the seismic safety of Unit No. 4 in terms of the new seismic durability guidelines as requested by members of the regional community.
- Our hope was to implement the MOX fuel program after giving the regional community a thorough explanation of Unit No. 4's seismic safety in preparation for the program, but for the two reasons described above we have determined that this will take some time and are therefore postponing the MOX fuel program.
- As Japan is a nation with few energy resources but high energy consumption, Chubu Electric Power believes it is essential that we advance the MOX fuel program, which will help to deal with the problem of global warming and effectively use uranium resources to ensure a stable supply of energy in the future.
- Chubu Electric Power will make every effort to be able to implement the MOX fuel program at an early date.
- In closing, I wish to acknowledge that from the start of operations of Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station Unit No. 1 until the present time, our ability to operate our nuclear power station and provide a stable supply of electric power has been in large part thanks to the understanding and cooperation of members of the regional community and other people concerned.
- I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all sincerely.
- In future, placing our highest priority on facility safety, we will continue to strive to make Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station a facility that earns the trust of local residents.
This concludes my remarks for today. Thank you.