What's New

May 10, 2018

Ohi Unit 4 (PWR, 1.18GW) of the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. restarted at 5:00pm of May 9, 2018 and reached the criticality at 3:00am of May 10. The commercial operation will be started in early June.
The Ohi Unit 4 is still under a court case as well as Unit 3 which has been waiting for the judgement since last November in the second court trial at the Kanazawa Branch of the Nagoya High Court examining the appeals by a part of residents to halt their operations.

April 16, 2018

Regional Workshop on Instructor Training Course: Leadership of the IAEA is being held at the FIHRDC/WERC in April 16 – 20 as an activity of the Asian Nuclear Safety Network (ANSN). Fifteen participants attended the course from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Republic of Korea. Dr. Zia Hussain Shah of the Regulatory Activity Section, NSND of the IAEA leads this training course.
This is the first training course in Japanese Fiscal Year (JFY) 2018 for the FIHRDC/WERC where Mr. Masanori Watanabe left and Mr. Fumizo Iseki joined from the Fukui Prefectural Government on April 1, 2018.

April 16, 2018

The new Chairman of the WERC, Mr. Hakuei ISIZUKA, made a welcome speech at the opening session of the Regional Workshop on Instructor Training Course: Leadership of the IAEA at the AQUATOM building of the FIHRDC/WERC on April 16, 2018.
Mr. Ishizuka was a Vice Governor of the Fukui Prefectural Government just before joining the WERC after holding the prefectural positions of the General Directors of the Department of Public Safety and Environment, and the Department of General Affairs.
The former Chairman Mr. Nobuaki ASAHI resigned the Chairman of the WERC on April 12, 2018 after 13 year appointment since April 2005.

March 30, 2018

On March 28, the FIHRDC/WERC sent invitations for the courses of Nuclear Technology Seminar of Nuclear Energy Officials (NEO), Site Preparation & Public Relation (SPPR), and Nuclear Plant Safety (NPS) in JFY2018 to the correspondents of: Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC); China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) and National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) of China; National Nuclear Energy Agency(BATAN) of Indonesia; Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) and RSE "National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan"(RSE NNC RK); Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia); Nuclear Energy Commission (NEC) of Mongolia; Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI); King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) of Saudi Arabia; Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board (SLAEB); Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT); Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK); and Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VINATOM). The details of the training courses are available in the website of the FIHRDC/WERC.

Experts and officials of the countries are encouraged to apply via the organizations indicated above. The dead line of the application is April 27, 2018 which is quite earlier than usual year due to the earlier durations of the training courses.

March 29, 2018

The Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc. decided to decommission its Ikata Unit 2 (PWR, 566 MW) on March 27, 2018. The Unit 2, aged 36 years, is estimated to cost high for plant life extension to sixty years fulfilling the requirements of the new regulation standards.

March 23, 2018

Genkai Unit 3 (PWR, 1.18GW) of the Kyusyu Electric Power Co., Inc. restarted in the morning of March 23, 2018. The commercial operation will be started in late April after completing pre-service inspection including the continuous operation test at the rated power.
The first court trial for the restart of the Ikata Unit 3 (PWR, 890MW) of the Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc., which is shown in a yellow ball in the figure below, is scheduled in April 23. The operation of the unit was halted following the injunction by the Hiroshima High Court in last December. The injunction was sustained on March 22 against the objection made by the operator.

March 15, 2018

Ohi Unit 3 (PWR, 1.18GW) of the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO) restarted on March 14, 2018 and reached criticality at 3 am of March 15. Power generation is expected to be started around 5 pm of March 16 and full power operation will be started around March 19.
KEPCO is also preparing for the restart of Ohi Unit 4 (PWR, 1.18GW) in mid-May and the price cutting of electricity in summer.

December 25, 2017

Kansai Electric Power Company LTD. (KEPCO) announced its decision to decommission the Ohi Units 1&2 (PWR, 1175MWe) on December 22, 2017. Ohi Units 1&2 started their operation in 1979 with their unique structure of their container vessel (CV) equipping ice condensers which cool down inside the CV in the case of severe accident and enable to smaller the volume of the CV. To reinforce the seismic measures of the units adapting to the new regulation requirements after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident, the inside working area of the CV is inevitably tightened and that causes difficulties on safety activities in case of accident. Mr. Shigeki Iwane, President of the KEPCO, explained this to Mr. Issei Nishikawa, the Governor of the Fukui Prefecture, as the reason of the decision on the permanent shut-down of the Ohi Units 1&2.

December 15, 2017

On December 13, 2017, the Hiroshima High Court sentenced the injunction against the operation of Ikata Unit 3 which has been operated since August 2016 and was under refueling outage from October 3, 2017. (Sorry for wrong description in the thread of this facebook figures on October 24 and November 28.) The Ikata Unit 3 shall not be operated by October 30, 2018 except the following two cases: [1] The Hiroshima High Court accepts the objection from the Shikoku Electric Power Company, the owner of the Ikata Unit 3; or [2] The court judges the validity of the operation that is under trial in another civil law suit.

The Hiroshima High Court also describes: [1] The judgement of the NRA on the effect of volcano is not rational; [2] The siting of the Ikata NPP is inappropriate because the possibility of the reaching of the pyroclastic flow to the site from the past Aso caldera-forming eruption is not very small; and [3] The Hiroshima City, the trial was proposed, in the range of the 100 km radius from the NPP, is inside the area that the residents possibly suffer significant consequences on their lives and bodies in case of accidents of the NPP.

November 28, 2017

On November 27, 2017, Mr. Issei Nishikawa, Governor of the Fukui Prefecture announced that he agreed to restart the Ohi Units 3&4 (PWR, 1.18GW) following the meeting on November 26 with Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (METI) who expressed that the national government promotes the energy policy in a responsible manner. The Governor Nishikawa also stressed the necessity of the plan to construct intermittent storage facility of nuclear spent fuels which should be built outside the Fukui Prefecture.

The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO), the operator of the Ohi Units 3&4, will begin to load nuclear fuels in early December and restart the Unit 3 in mid-January 2018. The Unit 4 is expected its fuel loading in early February, and restart in mid-March.

November 6, 2017

Participants to the training course of Nuclear Energy Officials (NEO) visited the Kobe Shipyard of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI) On October 31, 2017. They observed the manufacturing process of steam generators, simulators and non-distractive testing facilities in the MHI factories.

The training course is operated by the FIHRDC/WERC, organized by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), and sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture Sports Science and Technology (MEXT) from October 23 to November 10. The ten participants are from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Another two Polish experts joined the NEO as observers funded by the JICC project.

October 6, 2017

On October 4, 2017, Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan accepted a draft of a document which confirms the safety measures of Kasiwazaki-Kariwa (KK) Units 6&7 submitted by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) complies with the new regulatory requirements set after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident. Both units are 1356 MWe-ABWR. This approval is the first case for the Japanese boiling water reactors after the accident. The KK Units 6&7 are expected to be restarted within several years completing their plant modification and obtaining consents to the restarts by the local governments represented by the Niigata Prefecture.

September 29, 2017

Ten experts from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam joined the Training Course of Nuclear Plant Safety (NPS2017) operated by the FIHRDC/WERC, organized by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), and sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture Sports Science and Technology (MEXT) held in September 19 through October 13. The trainees visited the Kindai University and learned reactivity measurement and neutron and X-ray radiography using the University Training and Research Reactor of Kindai University (UTR-KINKI) which is a 1W reactor restarted on April 12, 2017 clearing the new regulation standards set after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident. This was the first international training for the UTR-KINKI after its restart.

September 22, 2017

An IAEA training course was held in the FIHRDC/WERC in the AQUATOM building from 11 to 15 of September 2017 inviting Ms. Abida Khatoon, a private external expert of the IAEA and 10 participants from seven Asian countries. The course was organized as an instructor training course of the Asian Nuclear Safety Network (ANSN). The course focused on the leadership on safety. Responsibilities of operators, regulators and country officials were intensively discussed. The next training course on the same topic is planned to be held again in the next April.

September 7, 2017

On September 2, a city festival, Tsuruga-Masturi started combining with the traditional Kehi-Shrine Shinto Festival. The shrine locates almost 300 m east of the FIHRDC office in the AQUATOM building. Every year, the biggest festival of the Kehi Shrine is held to celebrate the given happiness by the Shinto God from September 2 to 15. Citizens of Tsuruga also enjoy with several kinds of parades shown in the pictures.

August 29, 2017

On August 28, 2017, the Kyusyu Electric Power Company announced its Genkai Unit 3 (PWR, 1.18GW) is expected to be restarted in January 2018. Ohi Units 3&4 (Both PWR, 1.18GW) of the Kansai Electric Power Company are also expected to be restarted in January and March of 2018, respectively. All announcements were released with the applications of pre-service inspections of the units to the NRA submitted on the same day.

August 24, 2017

A beautiful insect Tamamushi visited Nagatani Office of the FIHRDC/WERC last Saturday, August 19 when the WERC was opened for kids as a public communication event in summer holidays. The body color of the Tamamushi changes from dark brown to light green depending on the directions of observers. This is the reason why multi-meaning and superficially friendly answers called in Japanese as “Answers in Tamamushi color”.

August 17, 2017

August 13 through 16 is a traditional holiday duration for most of Japanese. Buddhist parties teach that the duration is URABON’E when people welcome their ancestors who came back from heaven annually, and give good meals for them. Most Japanese come back their hometown and meet their present relatives and ancestors. Usually, at the night of the August 16, people make a small bonfire for farewell to the ancestors who are coming back to heaven. The fireworks and lantern releases to the sea in Tsuruga (Photos below) are an expanded style of the farewell bonfires. Some ten thousands of fireworks and lanterns decorated the seashore of Tsuruga in the evening of the August 16.

August 9, 2017

Typhoon No.5 of 2017 brought much amount of rain to Tsuruga. The water level near the mouth river of the Shonokawa River reached to 3.69 m in the morning of Tuesday, August 8 against the flooding height of 4.5 m. This largest river in Tsuruga flows only 600 m west of the office of FIHRDC/WERC in the AQUATOM building.

Emergency reporting radio receivers worked successfully to help the residents who live near the river. The free radio receiver shown in the photo is distributed to all households from the city office to share emergency responding information including nuclear accidents. The FM wave from a local radio station or regenerated wave from local cable TV line are used for the broadcasting. The radio receiver with rechargeable batteries and LED torch lights automatically switched on in case of emergency.

July 24, 2017

The web site of the FIHRDC/WERC was refurbished on July 21 after almost 3 week reconstruction. Sorry for your inconvenience during the shutdown. Updated information of the FIHRDC/WERC is available on the web site.

July 5, 2017

Takahama Unit 3 of the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO) started commercial operation at 17:30 of July 4, 2017. KEPCO received certifications by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) on the completion of the Pre-Service Inspection and the Periodic Governmental Facility Inspection. The Takahama Unit 3 is scheduled to continue its full-power operation till August 3, 2018.

The photo below is decoration at the Tsuruga railway station for the Tanabata festival on July 7. Following a fairy tale, the night is believed as the time for annual dating of the prince star Altair and the princess star Vega across the Milky Way. The wishes written on colored pieces of paper hanged to thin bamboo tree are believed to come true.

June 30, 2017

The FIHRDC/WERC and the Fukui prefectural government support Japanese students who plan to study in the oversea institutes. This year, three students applied to the program and were interviewed at the WERC head office on June 29. They have intentions to study at institutes in Canada, Belgium, and Netherland. Expanding their abilities through their experiences abroad and their future contribution to the nuclear society are strongly expected.

June 19, 2017

Takahama Unit 4 of the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO) started commercial operation at 17:00 of June 16, 2017 using uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. KEPCO received certifications by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) on the completion of the Pre-Service Inspection and the Periodic Governmental Facility Inspection. The operation of Takahama Unit 4 is scheduled till June 3, 2018, despite the 13 months of legally possible continuous operation, avoiding duplication of the next periodic refueling outage with the Unit 3. The Unit 3, which was withdrawn its control rods on June 6, is also expected to restart its commercial operation on July 4 of this year.
Mr. Shigeki Iwane, the President of the KEPCO has expressed his plan to apply the price cutting of electricity to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) when both of Units 3 and 4 of Takahama start their commercial operation.

June 15, 2017

Islands of Japan are covered with warm pacific anticyclone in summer. When the anticyclone expands in the term from early June to late July, airstream with lot of moisture flows into the peripheral area of the anticyclone and causes the rainy season of Japan. Hydrangea or Ajisai in Japanese is a symbolic flower of Japanese rainy season. The follows are photos of hydrangea taken at the Atago Shrine within 10 minutes’ walk distance from the office of FIHRDC/WERC in the AQUATOM building.
Mr. Shigeki Iwane, the President of the KEPCO has expressed his plan to apply the price cutting of electricity to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) when both of Units 3 and 4 of Takahama start their commercial operation.

What is FIHRDC

The Fukui International Human Resources Development Center for Atomic Energy (FIHRDC), founded in April 2011 in Fukui, has intension to be a focal point of nuclear human resource development (HRD) in Japan. To achieve this goal, FIHRDC has established close cooperation with not only many research institutes and training centers in the Fukui Prefecture but also universities and other organizations in its neighboring regions: Kansai and Chukyo. The activities of the center always aim to contribute to nuclear safety and HRD in the world through fostering competent human resources to meet needs from home and abroad.

Energy Research and Development Centralization Plan

The Fukui Prefectural Government established the Energy Research and Development Centralization Plan (ERDCP) in March 2005 to realize a self-reliant cooperation between the region and nuclear organizations. Utilizing the very specific features of the prefecture with various types of 15 reactors in Reinan (the south region of the prefecture), the ERDCP aimed to make the region to be a center of research activities on nuclear power.
      The FIHRDC was also established as a part of the activities of the ERDCP.

Nuclear power plants in Fukui and Japan

Nuclear HRD facilities in Fukui

Network of FIHRDC