Concerning Results of Study on Storage Status of Nuclear Materials at Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station
December 22, 2011
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
Following instructions from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)(*1), Chubu Electric Power has been conducting a study on whether it is storing nuclear materials(*2) without accountancy and control(*3), and has confirmed the presence of substances suspected to contain nuclear materials on the grounds of Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station. Chubu Electric Power has therefore been measuring and evaluating such factors as the amount of nuclear materials contained in these substances, determining that the following substances are nuclear materials.
(1) Three pellets (natural uranium)
(2) One panel consisting of metal coated with nuclear material (depleted uranium)
(3) Three containers of yellowcake (natural uranium)
Chubu Electric Power yesterday received instructions from MEXT(*4) to report on those nuclear materials described above that are internationally controlled materials as based on an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and which require accountancy and control, and therefore Chubu Electric Power today reported to MEXT on qualifying materials (1) and (2) above.
We additionally checked whether these nuclear materials require obtaining permission under the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law and confirmed that permission to use such materials is required under the law in all cases (1) - (3) above.
Based on interviews with company personnel, labels on the nuclear materials' containers and other sources of information, Chubu Electric Power assumes that the nuclear materials confirmed in this study were meant for PR use in such places as the old nuclear station exhibition center between the mid-1960s and mid-1970s.
The radiation dose on the surface of these nuclear materials is between 0.1μSv/h - 8.5μSv/h, and each material has been stored within a radiation control area.
Chubu Electric Power will continue to study whether we have any other similar nuclear materials, and we will take the necessary procedures and practice appropriate control over any nuclear materials confirmed, treating them as internationally controlled materials and nuclear fuel materials.
(*1) Chubu Electric Power received the "Request to Study Nuclear Materials Not under Accountancy and Control" (2011 Research and Development Policy Division, Research and Development Bureau No. 71) from MEXT on August 08, 2011.
(*2) Nuclear substances requiring accountancy and control are nuclear fuel materials (with some exceptions); nuclear fuel materials are defined in the Atomic Energy Basic Act, Article 3 (ii), as materials that emit high levels of energy during the process of nuclear fission (uranium, thorium, etc.).
(*3) Accountancy and control refers to strict and accurate control of inventory quantities of internationally controlled materials such as uranium fuel used at nuclear power stations. Accountancy and control is required by law.
(*4) Chubu Electric Power received "Concerning Reporting on Nuclear Fuel Materials Not under Accountancy and Control as Based on the Act on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors (Request)" (2011 Research and Development Policy Division, Research and Development Bureau No. 133) from MEXT on December 21, 2011.