Nuclear Power Information
To Secure Redundant Power Supply and Cooling Functions
Firm determination to enhance the safety of nuclear power generation
August 1, 2014
The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.
Commitment to Enhancing Nuclear Safety
In the light of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, we reviewed our own practices and attitudes toward nuclear power operations and felt profound remorse that:
- - our efforts on countermeasures against Severe Accidents, which are considered to be extremely infrequent, might have been inadequate;
- - our awareness of voluntarily enhancing nuclear safety beyond legal and regulatory requirements might not have been enough; and
- - our efforts to learn from abroad, such as collecting information on activities for enhancing safety and improving our nuclear power stations, might have been insufficient.
We have been making company-wide efforts to further enhance nuclear safety accordingly.
Every one of us shall remember the lessons learned from the accident and ceaselessly strive to enhance nuclear safety to protect the people not only in the plant-hosting communities but also the whole country, and to preserve the environment.
Characteristics of nuclear power generation and risk awareness
Nuclear power generation has superior characteristics in terms of energy security, prevention of global warming and economic efficiency, and is an essential power source for the future to support economic development and a flourishing society in this resource-scarce country.
On the other hand, nuclear power generation has special and unique characteristics, such as the need to handle large amounts of radioactive materials and to remove decay heat for a long time even after operation shutdown. Therefore, nuclear power generation has risks of radiation exposure and environmental contamination caused by natural disasters, facility malfunctions, human errors, sabotage and terrorism, as well as diversion and proliferation of nuclear materials in every stage including the construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear facilities as well as the transport, storage, processing and disposal of spent fuel and radioactive waste.
Every one of us shall always bear in mind that once a severe accident happens due to lack of proper management, it could cause long-term environmental contamination and enormous damage to the people in the plant-hosting communities and the whole country, exerting both economic and social impacts on not only Japan but also worldwide.
Continuous removal / reduction of risk
To enhance nuclear safety, all executives and employees in charge of nuclear power generation shall fully understand the characteristics and risks of nuclear power generation and continually remove or reduce such risks while identifying and evaluating them, never believing at any moment that we have reached the goal of ensuring safety. By practicing these efforts at each level of the Defense-in-Depth, we will thoroughly establish measures to prevent accidents and reinforce countermeasures in a potential case where a nuclear accident could result in core damage.
Development of safety culture
Safety culture is the basis for continuously removing or reducing risks.
Since the accident of Mihama Unit No.3 in August 9, 2004, we have been reviewing and improving our safety culture together with our vendors, cooperating and affiliated companies. Considering the consequences of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident, however, we may not have squarely faced the risks of nuclear power generation. All executives and employees in charge of nuclear power generation shall continuously strive to reduce or remove risks while fully understanding the significance, and develop our safety culture up to the level where such practices become part of natural affairs.
To this end, executives shall work harder than ever to take the lead in developing human resources who support nuclear safety, allocating corporate resources and improving organizational and operational structures while all the employees in charge of nuclear power generation shall practice the following in their daily operations:
- ・Repeatedly question even in-house rules and common practices.
- ・Exchange diverse opinions and discuss issues uninhibitedly regardless of status or position.
- ・Encourage the raising of safety concerns and treat them in a fair manner.
- ・Listen sincerely to the voices of the plant-hosting communities and the whole country.
Learn proactively from experiences and findings both inside and outside the country.
Commitment to enhancing nuclear safety
Enhancing nuclear safety is the overriding priority in the company. It is also important to promote two-way communications with the people in the plant-hosting communities and the whole country, and to share common perceptions on nuclear safety.
In this context, every one of us shall always consider and carry out what we should do in our respective positions.
With the unwavering will and determination to tirelessly enhance nuclear safety, the President is committed to leading the drive to enhance nuclear safety throughout the company.