Site operator Tepco is setting up a new internal company for Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning, and to deal with contaminated water. It commented that this organisation ‘will clarify the framework of responsibility and work intensively’ on these measures. It will also have responsibility for using Fukushima 5&6 for decommissioning training work, after Tepco announced plans to shut them in December.
The internal company’s president – Naohiro Masuda, a former Tepco executive, has been proposed for the job – will function as chief decommissioning officer for these issues, ‘so that he may swiftly and flexibly respond to the various tasks arising from the site.’
The company appears to be set up to help improve operational transparency and interaction with external bodies. A press release said, "Long term decommissioning work and contaminated water measures require a framework that is suited to a project at the national level, and we will discuss the development of a concrete organizational framework and business management structure based on this fact." It also said that the company structure would be devised in such a way that both internal and external experts would be involved. In addition, vendors’ nuclear division directors will be invited to serve as vice presidents. The new company will work with Japan’s new International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning.
The company is due to be set up by April 2014.
Other tasks include:
? a ‘fundamental review’ of reporting lines and decision-making in areas such as contaminated water leaks into the Fukushima port
? an enhanced project management system
? improved and strengthened on-site technical skills.
During progress on the site, four further leaks were found, and sealed, on December 21-22, at the Fukushima tank farm site. There is no indication that the leaks were of contaminated water.
The initial leaks found were in dykes that prevent surface water from running off into groundwater. They were initially collected in temporary ponds made with sandbags and plastic sheeting, and then pumped back into the dyke system. Afterwards the dyke’s concrete structure was repaired with waterproof sealing agent.

In other news, Toshiba has published a tender for full-scale reactor fabrications to help with the Fukushima Daiichi decontamination and decommissioning project. In the document, Toshiba said that the reactor fuel is expected to have melted and leaked out of the reactor pressure vessel into the containment vessel (PCV), which is now flooded with water. To safely remove melted fuel, water vent pipes will be stopped up. Toshiba has published a tender for a full-scale reactor containment vessel vent pipe to test this method.