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Japans current Nuclear Energy Policy

Hirobumi Kayama
Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, METI
March, 2015

Table of contents

1. Nuclear Energy Policy in the New Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

2. Efforts and Challenges of Japanese Nuclear Energy Policy

2-1. Efforts toward Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Management

of TEPCOs Fukushima Daiichi NPS
2-2. Existing Light Water Reactors

2-3. Reconstruction of Safety Culture

2-4. Promotion of Strategic Development of Technologies and Human
2-5. Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Fast Reactor R&D
2-6. Establishment of Appropriate Business Environment under the More
Competitive Market

1. Nuclear Energy Policy in the New Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

Description in the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

Decided by the Cabinet in April, 2014

We will do our utmost to achieve the reconstruction and recovery of Fukushima while reflecting on the
pains felt by the people affected by the accident at TEPCOs Fukushima nuclear accident. Needless to
say, that is the starting point for rebuilding Japans energy policy.

1. Issues related to the energy supply-demand structure in Japan

Concerns over the safety of nuclear power generation and deteriorated public confidence in the
government and operators
Outflow of national wealth and increase in dependency on the Middle East, price of electricity and
greenhouse gas emission in Japan due to higher dependency on fossil fuels
North America's move toward independency of its energy supply by the shale-gas revolution and
widening gap of regional energy prices in the world

2. Basic policy regarding measures concerning energy supply and demand

To pursue "Energy Security", "Economic Efficiency" and "Environment" on the premise of "Safety" as
the basic viewpoint, in consideration of "global viewpoint" and "economic growth
"Multilayered" supply structure where the strength of each energy source is to be maximized by
appropriately offsetting each other's weakness
More "flexible and efficient" energy supply-demand structure where various options are to be prepared

by various suppliers

1. Nuclear Energy Policy in the New Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

Description in the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

Nuclear power is an important base-load power source as a low carbon and quasidomestic energy source, contributing to stability of energy supply-demand structure,
on the major premise of ensuring of its safety, because of the perspectives;
superiority in stability of energy supply and efficiency,
ii. low and stable operational cost and
iii. free from GHG emissions during operation.
Ref.) Constitution of Electric Power Supply Corresponding to Demand

1. Nuclear Energy Policy in the New Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

Description in the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

Dependency on nuclear power generation will be lowered to the extent possible by

energy saving and introducing renewable energy as well as improving the efficiency
of thermal power generation, etc. Under this policy, GOJ will carefully examine a
volume of electricity to be secured by nuclear power generation, taking Japans
energy constraints into consideration, from the viewpoint of stable energy supply,
cost reduction, global warming and maintaining nuclear technologies and human

In light of the evaluation of characteristic of each energy source, GOJ will show the
energy mix quickly after assessing the prospects for the restart of nuclear power plants,
status of introduction of renewable energy and international discussions on global
warming including those for the Conferences of the Parties (COP)

GOJ has started discussion on the energy mix in the Advisory Committee for Natural
Resources and Energy and established a new experts Working Group to examine cost
of each power source.

2-1. Efforts toward Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Management of TEPCOs

Fukushima Daiichi NPS

December 25, 2014

Secretariat of the Team for Countermeasures for Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Treatment

Main works and steps for decommissioning

Fuel removal from Unit 4 SFP has been completed. Preparatory works to remove fuel from Unit
*Fuel assemblies melted through in the accident.
1-3 SFP and fuel debris* removal are ongoing.
Unit 1&2

Fuel Removal
from SFP

Unit 3

Rubble removal
& dose reduction

Unit 4

Unit 1-3

Fuel Debris
(Corium) Removal

Fuel removal Storage and


Unit 1: FY2017 Fuel removal will start (under consideration)

Unit 2: After FY2017 Fuel removal will start (under consideration)
Unit 3: FY2015 Fuel removal will start (planned)
Unit 4: 2014
Fuel removal was completed

FHM*: Fuel-Handling Machine

Dose reduction
& Leakage

Stop leakage

Fuel removal from SFP
On December 22, 2014, all fuel
removal from Unit 4 was completed.
Fuel removal from Unit 4 SFP
commenced on November 18, 2013.
Removal of spent fuel assemblies was
completed on November 5, 2014, and
removal of non-irradiated fuel assemblies
was completed on December 22, 2014.

Fuel debris

& technology

Storage and

Design &
of devices/

After FY2017
Water stoppage of PCV lower
part (under consideration)


(Fuel-removal operation)

Fuel removal has been completed on
December 22nd, 2014

2-1. Efforts toward Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Management of TEPCOs

Fukushima Daiichi NPS

December 25, 2014

Secretariat of the Team for Countermeasures for Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Treatment

Three principles behind contaminated water countermeasures

1. Eliminate contamination sources

(1) Multi-nuclide removal equipment

(2) Remove contaminated water in the trench*

Underground tunnel containing pipes.

2. Isolate water from contamination

(3) Pump up ground water for bypassing
(4) Pump up ground water near buildings
(5) Land-side frozen walls
(6) Waterproof pavement
3. Prevent leakage of contaminated water
(7) Soil improvement by sodium silicate
(8) Sea-side impermeable walls
(9) Increase tanks (welded-joint tanks)
Land-side impermeable walls with frozen soil
The walls surround the buildings with frozen
soil and reduce groundwater inflow into the
On-site tests have been conducted since last August.
Construction work started in June and the freezing
operation will start within FY2014.

Multi-nuclide removal equipment (ALPS

This equipment removes radionuclides
from the contaminated water in tanks, and
reduces risks.
It aims to reduce the levels of 62 nuclides in
contaminated water to the legal release limit or lower
(tritium cannot be removed.)
Furthermore, additional multi-nuclide removal equipment
is installed by TEPCO (operation started September
2014) as well as a subsidy project of the Japanese
Government (operation started October 2014.)

Freezing plant

Sea-side impermeable walls

Impermeable walls with frozen soil
(Length: approx. 1,500m)

The walls aim to prevent the flow of

contaminated groundwater into the sea.
Installation of steel sheet piles is almost (98%)
complete. The closure time is being coordinated.

2-2. Existing Light Water Reactors

Description in the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

1. On the premise that safety comes before everything else and that every possible
effort is made to resolve the peoples concerns, judgment as to whether nuclear
power plants meet the new regulatory requirements will be left to the Nuclear
Regulation Authority (NRA)
2. In case that the NRA confirms the conformity of nuclear power plants with the new
regulatory requirements ,which are of the most stringent level in the world, GOJ
will follow NRAs judgment and will proceed with the restart of the nuclear power

3. Examining an appropriate business environment, where nuclear power operators

can realize smooth decommissioning, prompt safety measures, stable supply of
electricity, etc. under the liberalized electricity markets.

2-2. Existing Light Water Reactors

Nuclear Power Plants in Japan (As of March, 2015)

2-2. Existing Light Water Reactors

Outline of processes for restart of NPPs

Safety Reviews and Inspections process of NRA
Review of basic design and
concept (for permission of reactor

Review of detailed
design (for approval of

installment license change)

construction works plan)

Permitted reactors


Sep. 10th
Sendai NPS,
2014by theUnit
1 and 2
*Not required
Feb. 12thlawTakahama NPS,


Unit 3 and 4

Kyusyu Electric

Assessment of Operation
management systems, etc.
(for approval of operational
safety programs

Kansai Electric

Local acceptance process

Local acceptance process

* No legal requirements

Disaster prevention and evacuation plan

*Not a legal
prerequisites for restart

Preparation and enhancement

of the disaster prevention and evacuation plan

**Based on the Basic Act on Disaster Control Measures and the Act on
Special Measures concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness

(Ref) Efforts towards restart of Sendai NPPs

1. NRAs Safety Review
Kyushu Electric Power submitted its application to make changes to the reactor
installment license of Sendai NPS Unit 1 and 2 in July 2013.

Sendai NPP

NRA compiled a draft evaluation report in 16th July 2014 which admits that
Sendai NPPs satisfies new regulatory requirements.
After the public comment process (until 15th August) and reviewing of the
submitted opinions, NRA granted a permission(changes to the reactor
installment license) in 10th September for the basic design and safety features
of Sendai NPPs.
18,600 page document
Sendai NPPs can be restarted after i) acquiring approval of the detailed design was reviewed &
62 review meetings were
and construction of the nuclear reactors and ii) completing pre-service
held for 110 hours
inspection of operational safety programs.
2. Disaster prevention and evacuation plan
A regional disaster prevention plan (including evacuation plan) against nuclear disaster should be
formulated by local authorities based on the Basic Act on Disaster Control Measures.
Although formulation of regional disaster prevention plan is not a legal requirement for restart, the plan is
important to ensure safety of local residents. The government supports local authorities to make a
sufficient plan.
3. Local Consent of the restart of Sendai NPPs
Both the governor of Kagoshima prefecture and Mayor of Satsumasendai City, hosting Sendai NPPs,
approved the restart of the NPPs, which means the local consent process was completed for those two

2-3. Reconstruction of safety culture

Description in the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

1. Nuclear industry as well as GOJ must shed the so-called safety myth, and
pursue the worlds highest level of safety for operations through continuous and
voluntary safety improvement.
2. The industrial circles, including nuclear operators, need to set up business
schemes to persistently pursue safety and make efforts to foster safety culture
that places top priority on the safety of nuclear facilities.

3. Each nuclear power operator, with a firm resolve that it will never let another
nuclear accident to happen, should establish an appropriate risk management
system and implement objective and quantitative risk assessments such as
probabilistic risk assessment (PRA).


2-3. Reconstruction of safety culture :

Proposals for Voluntary and Continuous Improvement of Nuclear Safety
A METIs Advisory Committee published the proposals on what the industrys initiative to voluntarily improve
safety should look like were on 30th of May 2014.

Proposals for Voluntary and Continuous Improvement of Nuclear Safety (May 30, 2014)
Implementation of risk management under an appropriate risk governance framework

Activities required to be implemented based on lessons learned from the accident at TEPCOs Fukushima
Daiichi NPS as the starting point
Implementation of exhaustive and comprehensive risk assessments including low-frequency events
Reduction of residual risk through strengthening defense in depth
Identifying the accident sequences and cliff edges at each plant, focusing on external events such as earthquakes and
tsunamis, which are particular to Japans geographical conditions, and improving resilience including response to, and
recovery from unexpected incidents that are not properly addressed by the existing ordinary system
Reorganization of research for improving the safety of light-water reactors that are commercially operated in Japan and
reinforcement of research coordination among organizations at home and abroad

Attitudes especially required to steadily proceed with these activities and have them take root
Creation of an organizational culture with a critical mind and power of imagination concerning residual risks
Swiftly introducing state-of-the-art information and opinions from both home and abroad, and making Japans efforts known
Involvement of external stakeholders
Improving human and intelligence bases across industr

Sharing roadmaps to be constructed by each industrial actor based on the WGs proposals and pursuing for the overall optimization
through constantly monitoring actions based on the roadmaps and continuously revising the roadmaps


2-3. Reconstruction of safety culture :

Establishment of the Nuclear Risk Research Center (NRRC)
Outline of NRRC

- Established within the Central Research Institute of Electric Power

Industry (CRIEPI) on October 1,2014 (Number of staff About 110)
- Utilizing PRA, this center is to perform R&D of safety-enhancing
technologies which is beyond merely fulfilling regulatory requirements
and to examine and propose effective problem-solving measures at
individual plant, etc.
- The authorities of nuclear safety with strong leadership experience were
invited to serve as the NRRCs executives.
Head: Dr. George Apostolakis
Executive Advisor: Dr. Richard A. Meserve
Chairman of Technical Advisory Committee: Mr. John W. Stetkar

Ref.) Role of NRRC

To support utilities, NRRC will
- Develop modern PRA methodologies and infrastructure
- Investigate mechanism, frequency and consequences of external natural hazards
- Continuously be aware of and identify new risks

Production cycle of NRRC R&D outcomes



Gap Analysis

Issues to be solved to
continuously improve

Identify what should be done by

NRRC until when



Utilitys Risk Management process


Develop research


Do R&D


Produce R&D outputs

Confirm utilities efforts


Utilize NRRCs R&D outputs

to risk-informed decision

Trust from


Center of excellence

Skilled researchers



Continuous safety

Presentation Material of Dr. Apostlakis
Working Group on Voluntary Improvement of Safety,
Technology and Human Resource (The 5th Meeting)


2-4. Promotion of Strategic Development of Technologies and Human

Description in the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

1. Maintaining and developing high-level nuclear technologies and human

resources is imperative for smoothly decommissioning aged nuclear power
plants, which are expected to increase in the future, as well as TEPCOs
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants.
2. Because enhancing the nuclear safety in surrounding countries ensures the
safety of Japan, maintaining and developing high-level nuclear technologies and
human resources which enable Japan contribute to their safety enhancement is
3. GOJ promotes the development of technologies that contribute to safety
improvement of LWRs including countermeasures against severe accidents and
enhance their reliability and efficiency in order to reduce risks in case of an
4. Under international cooperation, GOJ also facilitates R&D of nuclear
technologies that serves the safety improvement of nuclear use, such as hightemperature gas-cooled reactors which are expected to be utilized in various
industries including hydrogen production and which has an inherent safety.

2-4. Promotion of Strategic Development of Technologies and Human

Resources: Basic Policy for Formulation of Light Water Reactor Safety
Technology and Human Resource Roadmap
A METIs Advisory Committee has conducted an active discussions for formulating the Light Water
Reactor Safety Technology and Human Resource Roadmap in April or May 2015.
Description in the Basic Policy for Formulation of the Roadmap
Light Water Reactor Safety Technology and Human Resource Roadmap should be formulated in full
consideration of the lessons learnt from the experiences of the accident at TEPCOs Fukushima
Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, so that the public can feel confident of safety of light water reactors.
In order to define items of technology development and to maintain and develop human resources to
support these items, firstly we need to present challenges in realizing enhancement of the public
confidence in the safety of the light water reactors and safe and continuous use of the reactors; then
we need to reconstruct the roadmap by reviewing the priority of the existing technology development
and schedule, with considering whether they can contribute to resolve the challenges.
Also, Light Water Reactor Safety Technology and Human Resource Roadmap should be able to
realize the optimal approach, by clarifying roles among the parties concerned such as academic
societies, the government, operators, manufacturers, and research institutes; and by eliminating
overlapping of roles in Japan as a whole. Furthermore, in order to obtain the highest level of outcomes
with eliminating overlapping of the roles in research and development, elements of necessary
international collaborative researches should be actively incorporated into the roadmap, in full
consideration of the trend of the global research and development and human resource development.

2-5. Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Fast Reactor R&D

Description in the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan

1. GOJ will make efforts to reduce the volume and harmfulness of radioactive
waste and create a nuclear fuel cycle that contributes to effective utilization of
resources while adequately taking the past history into consideration and
continuing to seek the understanding of relevant municipalities and the
international community and will promote reprocessing and plutonium use in

2. Specifically, GOJ will promote plutonium use in LWRs, and proceed with such
measures as completion of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant, construction of a
MOX fuel processing plant, and completion of the Mutsu interim storage facility
on the underlying premise of ensuring safety. GOJ remains committed to the
policy of not possessing reserves of plutonium without specified purposes. Also
GOJ will promote R&D of fast reactors, etc., through international cooperation
with the U.S. and France etc.
3. GOJ will position Monju as an international research center for technological
development, such as reducing the amount and toxic level of radioactive waste
and technologies related to nuclear nonproliferation. GOJ will take necessary
measures for issues to be overcome , such as the re-establishment of systems
to implement the above mentioned actions on its own responsibility.


RefPlutonium utilization in Japan

Electric utilities have aimed to utilize MOX fuel in 16 to 18 NPPs until 2015.
Considering when the NPPs restart and starting operation of Rokkasho reprocessing plant
(RRP), electric utilities are supposed to show new Plutonium Utilization Plans before they
start reprocessing to recover plutonium in RRP.
Already loaded1

1 Using MOX fuel treated in France.

Got the approval of local governments

Before getting approval of local governments
The Japan Atomic Power Co.- Tsuruga (1 reactor)
Fukui pref.
The Kansai Electric Power Co. Ohi
12 reactorsFukui pref.

Hokkaido Electric Power Co.

Tomari-3 Hokkaido
Hokuriku Electric Power Co.
Shika-1 Ishikawa pref.

The Kansai Electric Power Co.Takahama-3

Fukui pref.[Applied]

The Kansai Electric Power Co.Takahama-4

Fukui pref.[Applied]
The Chugoku Electronic Power Co.Shimane-2
Shimane pref.[Applied]

Operation started in December 2009

Tohoku Electric Power Co.

Onagawa-3 Miyagi pref.
TEPCO started to use MOX fuel in
Fukushima-Daiichi-3 in Oct.2010, but stopped
with the Tohoku Earthquake in 2011.
In March 2011, TEPCO announced their
decision to decommission Fukushima-Daiichi

Operation started in January 2011

Kyushu Electric Power Co.

Genkai-3 Saga pref.[Applied]

Ohma Aomori pref.
under construction

The Japan Atomic Power Co. Tokai Daini

Ibaraki pref.[Applied]

Shikoku Electric Power Co.

Ikata-3 Ehime pref.[Applied]
Operation started in March 2010

[Applied]: Electric utilities have applied for a conformity assessment with the new regulations to NRA.

Chubu Electric Power Co.Hamaoka-4

Shizuoka pref.[Applied]
Tokyo Electric Power co.(TEPCO) have
planed to operate in 34 reactors which are
not specified site.


2-6. Establishment of Appropriate Business Environment under the More

Competitive Market
Description in the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan
Exploring an appropriate business environment under the more competitive
Nuclear operators are also required to

1) maintain high-level nuclear technologies and human resources,

2) smoothly go through decommissioning work, which will increase in the future
3) quickly take the best safety measures in response to regulations reinforced
after the TEPCOs Fukushima nuclear accident and
4) contribute to global warming countermeasures and stable electricity supply
utilizing base-load power sources.
Therefore, GOJ will explore an appropriate business environment in which nuclear
power operators can meet the above challenges even under the more competitive
environment promoted by the electricity system reform, learning lessons from the
overseas examples.


2-6. Establishment of Appropriate Business Environment under the More

Competitive Market : Roadmap for Electricity Market Reform in Japan
1st Reform: passed in Extraordinary Diet in 2013
1) Establishment of the Organization for Crossregional Coordination of Transmission Operators
2) Action programs for 2nd and 3rd Reforms

(1st bill)
Apr. 2, 2013
Cabinet Decision

Nov. 13,


2nd Reform: Passed in Ordinary Diet in 2014

1) Full retail competition
2) Revision of applicable and regulations
associated with the abolishment of General
Electricity Utility system

(2nd bill) (3rd bill) 1st Step


2nd Step

3rd Reform: Ordinary Diet in 2015

1) Legal unbundling of
transmission/distribution sectors
2) Code of Conduct

3rd Step

Jun. 11,

The 2nd Bill

The 1st Bill

2nd reform
3rd reform

Cabinet Decision on the Policy

on Electricity System Reform

1st reform

Establishment of the
Organization for Crossregional Coordination of
Transmission Operators

Full retail


Period of
arrangement for
retail tariff

of retail tariff

Legal unbundling of
/distribution sector
At around 2015:Transition to new regulatory organizations

(Ref.) Nuclear power under the liberalized market

Nuclear power business requires long and stable payback . The experiences of other countries
which have already liberalized their market indicate that it is challenging to pursue "liberalization
of electricity market" and "promotion of nuclear power business" at the same time.
(2) Influence of liberalized electricity market for Nuclear
power generation

(1) Image of the schedule for payback and risk of NPP




Shut down



Nuclear Power in Competitive Electricity Markets (2000)

by OECD NEA, states
In competitive market , its hard to predict long-term
electrical power cost, so that Nuclear power generation,
with long lead time and significant investment cost ,may
have significant investment risk compared with other kind
of power generation.
In Liberalized market, it is unclear to predict future price or
payback of investment. Private investors prefer more
flexible and short-term payback investment.


Early Close
original assumption

In the UK, the electricity market was gradually liberalized

after 1990 and achieved full liberalization in 1999. With
this background as well as with increasing development of
oil and LNG in the North Sea, there were no new
construction of NPPs for 20 years after 1995.
In the U.S., liberalization of electricity market has been
progressed in each state after 1990. With the decreasing
price of LNG, new construction of NPPs has been
stagnated for a while. Currently there are 4 projects for
new establishment of NPPs .

(Ref.) Measures taken in UK

In October 2013, EDF Group and the UK Government had reached in principle an agreement on
the key commercial terms for an investment contract (Feed in Tariff Contract for Difference (FiT
CfD)) of the planned Hinkley Point C new nuclear power plants. (The Terms: 1630kW X 2units,
Strike Price: 92.5/MWh ( 15.7/KWh) for 35years).
And also the UK Infrastructure Guarantee Scheme (IUK) is applicable to new nuclear power plants.
In October 2014, the European Commission (EC) concluded such measures (FiT CfD and IUK) for
Hinkley Point nuclear power plants are compatible with EU state-aid rules, if the conditions are
partly modified.
(Summary of FiT CfD in the UK)
The difference between the Reference Price (introduced by the market price), and the Strike Price
(decided by the utilities and the Government to collect all cost of NPPs including decommission and
disposal of spent fuel) will be paid either by the utilities or by the Government, to level the profit and
loss of NPPs and to improve the predictability of payout.
Image of CfD
Pay the
to Utilities

Utilities Pay
the Difference

Strike Price

Strike Price

Reference Price

Price set to collect all cost of NPPs including decommission and

disposal of spent fuel. This price will be determined through the
negotiation between utilities and the government.

Reference Price

Price set by averaging forward price in the market