NRA OKs plan on safety measures for Fukushima No. 1

Kyodo

The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday approved Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s safety plan for the Fukushima No. 1 plant as the utility seeks to eventually decommission its reactors.

The approval is part of the procedures to tighten regulatory oversight of the complex, which still leaks radioactive substances into the outside environment.

“The move will enable us to conduct regulations under a legally based authority, so I believe we can regulate the site more properly,” an official of the NRA secretariat told reporters.

NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka told a meeting with his fellow commissioners that he wants to reinforce the team in charge of inspecting the plant.

The plan refers to safety measures to be taken when removing fuel from the storage pools for reactors 1 through 4 and the melted fuel from inside reactors 1 through 3.

The utility hopes to start extracting the spent fuel from the pool near the top of the reactor 4 building in November. The building suffered a hydrogen explosion early in the crisis.

The NRA expected to approve the plan as early in February, but the schedule was pushed back amid a spate of troubles at the plant, including radioactive water leaking from sunken reservoirs.