Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Japan's NRA Sees No Problem With KEPCO's Emergency Response HQ at Ooi Nuke Plant (Spare Room Next to Central Control Room), Tsunami Height Estimate (3 Meters)

So, as far as Kansai Electric Power Company and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority are concerned, an accident at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant that could involve station blackout, multiple core melt, severe damages to reactor buildings and turbine buildings not to mention damaged water intake for the secondary cooling systems can be dealt with as long as KEPCO keeps a room next to the central control room available which will serve as the emergency response headquarters.


Also recall that the main access route to Ooi Nuke Plant, the only nuclear power plant in operation in Japan right now, is via the tunnel under the mountains. When KEPCO forced the restart, the company sent employees on a boat to avoid the protesters on land. Good luck with that after an earthquake and tsunami.

From Jiji Tsushin (6/11/2013):


No objection on alternative emergency response HQ at an NRA meeting to confirm whether Ooi Nuke Plant meets the new safety standards


Nuclear Regulatory Authority held a meeting on June 11 to confirm whether Reactors 3 and 4 at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant by KEPCO (Ooi-cho, Fukui Prefecture), the only operating nuclear power plant in Japan, meet the new regulatory standards. The focus was on the emergency response headquarters in a major accident that would involve meltdown (core melt). KEPCO explained that a room located next to the central control room for Reactors 1 and 2 at Ooi Nuke Plant would serve as the alternative emergency response headquarters, and there was no major objection [from NRA].


NRA also decided to conduct a survey of the plant on June 15, and it will decide whether the plant should continue to operate by the end of this month. If there is no significant safety problem, NRA is going to approve continued operation until the scheduled maintenance in September.

Reactors 1 and 2 at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant have been in the scheduled maintenance.

TEPCO had the multi-story Anti-Seismic Building at Fukushima I Nuke Plant that was completed just in time, and it has been used as the emergency response headquarters. KEPCO says a room next to the control room will be sufficient, and no one at NRA thinks it is not.

The NRA doesn't seem to have any problem with KEPCO's estimate either that in case of an earthquake caused by a 90-kilometer-long active fault in Wakasa Bay a 3-meter-high tsunami (max) will hit the water intake at the plant, which is located at 9.7 meters above the sea level.

Where have we seen the similar numbers before? And what has happened to the nuclear plant?

Dismissing its own internal estimates (10 to 15 meters), TEPCO settled for the max 5.7-meter tsunami in case of a large earthquake of Magnitude 7.9. It was 15-meter tsunami/run-up, and M.9.0 earthquake.

From Jiji Tsushin (6/10/2013):


Study of earthquake, tsunami almost complete, in evaluation of Ooi Nuke Plant on the new regulatory standards, says NRA


Nuclear Regulatory Authority held a meeting on June 10 to evaluate whether Reactors 3 and 4 at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant meets the new regulatory standards. The plant, operated by KEPCO, is the only nuclear power plant operating in Japan. NRA will continue to confirm the safety measures at the plant, and will decide whether the plant should continue to operate by the end of this month.


In the June 10 meeting, KEPCO showed the data that says a tsunami with the maximum height of 3 meters would reach the water intake for Reactors 3 and 4 if they assume the 90-kilometer-long fault moves in Wakasa Bay, where Ooi Nuke Plant is located, and submarine landslide occurs. The site elevation at Reactors 3 and 4 is 9.7 meters from the sea level, but NRA will ask for evaluation of the effect on the facilities if the tsunami water flows in from the water intake.

Uh... How about some evaluation if the tsunami water is much, much higher than the operator anticipates, like it happened in Fukushima two years ago?

It looks more and more like NRA is another NISA after all, agency to enable electric power companies to operate nuclear power plants with minimum oversight.

In other words, Japan has fully recovered from the biggest nuclear accident in the nation's history.


Anonymous said...

See no danger, hear no danger, talk no danger. You can find those monkeys at a temple in Nara and at the NRA

Anonymous said...

I thought there had to be an alternate control room a few kilometres away from the plant (5km?10km?) *according to NRA own rules*. What happened??

There was an alternate control room for Fukushima Daiichi too, so to speak... it was without power and without air filters so it was there just to pretend they had one but still there was an obligation to have one... and now Kepco does not even have to pretend?


VyseLegendaire said...

Alternate control room – cardboard cubicle in the corner of the regular control room?

Anonymous said...

Nobody ever sees problems until it's too late.

It's ridiculous how many times I've tried to warn people to save them from all kinds of trouble and they just didn't want to listen.

Humans just want to learn things the hard way.

Anonymous said...

@10:27 maybe the urge to learn by direct experience is real for some individuals, however the story is different for large corporations: they *choose* to ignore the danger because they expect to be able to externalize the costs.
Richard F. head of a large investment bank in the US was shocked not to have been rescued by the taxpayer, Tokyo Electric was saved by the taxpayer, Thyssen-Krupp in Italy run an old steel factoty until it killed a few, then shut it down. The examples are countless.

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