The flow of review and inspection for checking conformity to New Regulatory Requirements
For checking conformity to new regulatory requirements, changes in reactor installation, plan for construction works, and operational safety programs are reviewed in parallel.
Pre-service inspections are carried out for the nuclear facilities after the approval, or the receipt of notification from the utilities of “plan for construction works.”
Operational safety inspections are carried out for checking the nuclear facilities regarding their compliance with the operational safety program after its approval.
Review processes 1) to 3) are carried out in parallel.
1) Review of “changes in reactor installation” → Permission
In light of lessons learned from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, strengthening measures against earthquakes and tsunami, providing back-fitting to existing nuclear reactors, preventing core, reactor vessel and containment vessel to be damaged, and measures suppressing diffusion of radioactive materials are required.
For reviewing changes in reactor installation, the location, structure and equipment of nuclear reactor facilities and technical competence of nuclear power operators are to be examined whether to meet the new regulatory requirements.
2) Review of “plan for construction works” → Approval
For reviewing “plan for construction works”, the detailed design of nuclear power facilities and the methods of quality management for design and construction are to be examined whether they are consistent with “changes in reactor installation” to meet the new regulatory requirements.
3) Review of “operational safety program” → Approval
For reviewing the operational safety program, necessary operational safety measures for nuclear reactor facilities are examined whether or not they are sufficient in terms of maintenance of reactor facilities, operation of power reactors and prevention of disasters by nuclear fuel material, material contaminated by nuclear fuel material, or damaged power reactors.
1) Pre-service inspection → Passing
NRA nuclear facility inspectors examine the nuclear facilities after the approval or the receipt of notification from the utilities of “plan for construction works” to confirm the conformity to “plan for construction works” and technical standards.
The licensee of power reactor operation shall not use the facilities except necessary examination for the “Pre-service inspection,” prescribed by the ordinance of the NRA before they pass “Pre-service inspection.”
2) Operational safety inspections
“Operational safety inspections” are to review the compliance with “operational safety program” prescribing the necessary operational safety measures of nuclear power reactor facilities.
Periodic operational safety inspections (four times / year) are carried out to assess whether safety activities by nuclear operators, such as PDCA (“Plan”, “Do”, “Check”, and “Action”) are appropriate or not.
In addition to periodic operational safety inspections, the inspections for checking the compliance with operational safety program are carried out related to startup and suspension of reactors, operations such as loading nuclear fuel, and drills preparing for a severe accident and accidents with major damage.
3) Periodic facility inspections
Any person who installs specified significant power reactor facilities shall periodically undergo an inspection by the NRA regarding such facilities.
NRA nuclear facility inspectors witness operators’ periodic inspection to verify the conformity to the technical standards, or check the relevant records.