The electric power companies were greatly concerned with the occurrence of the nuclear criticality accident at JCO Co.'s uranium reconversion facility. The accident was truly regrettable, and the companies, although they have no ownership or management relations with JCO, are determined to take substantial actions to prevent a similar incident in the future.
The nuclear industry consists of numerous companies, whose activities range from the manufacture of components and processing of nuclear fuel to the management and disposal of waste. A lack of safety in any part of the business leads to a loss of public trust in the nuclear industry as a whole, and hinders the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Japan.
As the cause of the accident became evident, the electric power companies
strongly believed that all companies in the nuclear industry should
enhance the safety culture across the industry.
The electric power companies want to share their safety culture and know-how on safety enhancement with the entire nuclear industry. The companies will share their experience in the construction, maintenance, and operation of nuclear power plants and, at the same time, hope to learn more from other industries and companies.
The goal is that NS-Net activities will contribute to an improvement in the level of safety of the entire nuclear industry and bolster public trust in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Japan.
Nuclear Safety Network (NS-Net) (Established December 9, 1999)
1. Nuclear Safety Network Secretariat
Otemachi Building, 1-6-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0004
An autonomous non-governmental organization in which corporations, research institutes and other organizations related to the nuclear industry voluntarily participate.
3. Inaugural Members
Thirty-five corporations, research institutes and other organizations involved in the nuclear fuel cycle participated in the establishment of the Nuclear Safety Network.
(A) Enhancement of Nuclear Safety Culture
(B) Peer Review
(C) Shared Experiences
5. Steering Committee
The operational activities of NS-Net will be monitored and evaluated by an independent steering committee. The committee will consist of five to six members such as scholars, critics and media representatives.
Inaugural Members (35 Organizations)
*What is Safety Culture?
Safety culture means a corporate culture in which safety is paramount among all business practices of for-profit corporations. NS-Net will try to enhance the safety culture among members through seminars, education support, peer review, and sharing experiences.
*What is Peer Review?
Peer review is the evaluation by other member organizations that provides opportunities to learn from their practices. Peer review allows for constructive criticism from which both the members conducting the review and the member being reviewed can benefit.
Nuclear Accident at JCO
At approximately 10:35 A.M. on September 30, 1999, a nuclear accident
reaching criticality occurred at the Tokai plant of JCO Co. as an 18.8%
uranium solution was being poured into a precipitation tank. The accident
exposed 69 people to radiation, including the three JCO workers in the
immediate vicinity, 56 other employees of JCO and affiliated companies,
seven workers at an adjoining construction site and three fire fighters.
This was a serious accident in which the life of a worker was lost and many employees and local people were exposed to radiation. It was not, however, comparable to the Chernobyl accident in which large amounts of radioactivity in the surrounding area contaminated the soil leaving long-term effects.
Based on the results of government studies as to what caused the accident and the measures taken, the electric power industry is prepared to implement thorough safety control measures to restore public trust in nuclear power.
The Federation of Electric Power Companies of