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The safety of six village post treatment plants in Japan has been approved by regulators.
[2020-05-20]

Japan's nuclear regulatory agency (NRA) recently approved a draft report that approved the new safety standards for the post treatment plant of JNFL, located at six villages in Aomori county. The approval of the report led to a step closer to the opening of the post treatment plant, which was built in 1993.

After the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, the new safety standards for nuclear fuel cycle facilities came into effect in December 2013. Each facility has different requirements, but generally includes reinforcement measures for natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. In some cases, tornadoes, volcanoes and forest fires are also included. Aftertreatment plants need to verify these reinforcement measures and measures to prevent terrorist attacks, hydrogen explosions, leakage of liquids and evaporation of liquid wastes.

After approving the draft report, NRA will seek feedback from the Minister of industry and other relevant parties within one month. President NRA said they believed that the design of the facility ensured a high safety margin for possible accidents, and that the seismic fault near the facility had been adequately tested and screened.

Six village post processing plants have installed additional equipment and systems to collect radioactive substances in serious accidents. The impact of high pressure and high temperature steam leaks on control devices and equipment and related preventive measures have also been assessed. The plant has built an emergency control room and equipped with additional safety related precautions such as internal flood control, strengthening pipeline seismic resistance, improving cooling tower's ability to prevent tornado and improving internal fire prevention measures.

The plant started construction in 1993. It was originally planned to be completed in 1997. However, its construction and commissioning have undergone several delays. The problem lies in the vitrification workshop designed by JNFL. The workshop needs to be matched with the post-processing device provided by Areva. The six village post treatment plant adopts the same technology as the French Agger post treatment plant. Once it is officially run, the maximum post-processing capacity will reach 800 tons per year.

The goal of JNFL is to complete the necessary safety precautions in the first half of fiscal year 2021.

(translated by Han Fujuan, world nuclear news network)