TEPCO implements new safety measures in bid to restart Niigata reactors

October 03, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

KASHIWAZAKI, Niigata Prefecture--Tokyo Electric Power Co. is installing new venting equipment at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant here as part of efforts to win approval to restart two reactors.

The equipment is designed to lower pressure and filter radioactive substances in the event of serious accidents.

Reporters were given a tour of the facility that straddles two municipalities of the same names facing the Sea of Japan.

The filtered venting equipment, required under the Nuclear Regulation Authority's new safety regulation standards, is designed to release pressurized steam after filters lower its radiation count.

TEPCO in late September applied to the NRA for safety screenings so it can restart the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors.

The equipment is also being installed in the No. 1 and No. 5 reactors, which it hopes to restart after the first two are complete.

"We will apply for screenings (to restart the No. 1 and No. 5 reactors) depending on progress of the preparations," TEPCO President Naomi Hirose said.

Work on the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors is scheduled for completion before the fiscal year ends in March.

Other safety measures are also being implemented at the plant. TEPCO revised its maximum planning height to guard against a catastrophic tsunami from 3.3 meters to 8.5 meters. It has already built a new levee system. The new walls, totaling 2.5 kilometers in length, tower 15 meters above sea level, exceeding the updated tsunami planning requirements. The utility has also created a new water reservoir on elevated ground to cool the reactors in case of emergency.

TEPCO said it plans to invest a total of 120 billion yen ($1.23 billion) in safety reinforcement work.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Filtered venting equipment is being installed at the No. 1 reactor of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on Oct. 2. (Takashi Ebuchi)

Filtered venting equipment is being installed at the No. 1 reactor of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on Oct. 2. (Takashi Ebuchi)

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  • Filtered venting equipment is being installed at the No. 1 reactor of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on Oct. 2. (Takashi Ebuchi)

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