New quality assurance system for Japanese facilities

3 September 2002

Japan A working group has begun talks in Japan aimed at introducing a new system for examining quality assurance and maintenance management at the country's nuclear facilities within the next two years.

The working group of the advisory committee for natural resources and energy's nuclear and industrial safety sub-committee considered draft requirements for "basic quality assurance and maintenance management", proposed by Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA).

The working group said that the aim was to ensure that plant owners "act appropriately and maintain a certain level of reliability by confirming that they systematically undertake scheduled security activities according to proper rules on quality assurance." The group indicated that a process should be developed that is "easy to understand and implement, while also being appropriate for regulators." The working group also called for a system of easy communication to be established to promptly address any difficulties.

In terms of maintenance management, the group said that owners of nuclear facilities should decide the "specific content of maintenance management based on regulatory requirements, while regulators should monitor owners to make certain they are properly managing maintenance. Regulators should also ascertain the state of improvements and make suggestions, including issuing policies on the implementation of maintenance management, its scope, the creation of programmes and their implementation, and should confirm and evaluate results, corrective measures, and the evaluation process itself."

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