The Japan Nuclear Safety Institute (JANSI) marked its 10th anniversary on November 15 by publishing a letter that highlighted some of the organization’s greatest accomplishments of the past decade. In the letter, William Edward Webster Jr., chairman of the JANSI board of directors, and Hiromi Yamazaki, JANSI president and chief executive officer, expressed their “sincere gratitude to all our members and other stakeholders who have provided support and guidance over the past 10 years.”
Accomplishments: Founded in 2012, JANSI is dedicated to preventing “any severe accident similar to the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident” and upholding their mission of “pursuing the world’s highest level of safety.” Webster and Yamazaki acknowledged the help of organizations that have JANSI’s accomplishments possible, including the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the World Association of Nuclear Operators.
The letter noted that, in 2018, “the governance structure of JANSI was significantly strengthened when all chief executive officers of Japanese nuclear operating companies joined the JANSI Board of Directors.” That same year, the board approved JANSI’s 10-Year Strategic Plan, which “clearly defined 12 goals for the industry and JANSI as well as a roadmap to achieve these ambitious goals.”
Because of JANSI’s efforts, “today all nuclear power stations in Japan have received a peer review and the stations in operation have received multiple peer reviews,” according to Webster and Yamazaki. They added, “In October 2022, the JANSI plant peer review program completed a rigorous multi-year assessment process and was designated by WANO [World Association of Nuclear Operators] as equivalent to a WANO peer review.”
They also pointed out that “JANSI has adopted the internationally recognized model of a healthy safety culture. . . used to conduct regular assessments of the safety culture of member organizations” and that “JANSI has conducted in-depth reviews of plant safety and industry operating experience and made recommendations to the operators to improve safety margins.”
The letter also highlighted changes in training and development: “JANSI has developed and provides a suite of training courses focused on safety leadership and emergency response. . . . These training sessions are well attended by the operating staff and serve to reinforce the basic concepts of a high-performance, safety-focused organization and the leader behaviors that support such an organization.”
Webster and Yamazaki concluded the list with lessons learned from the past, saying, “JANSI has embedded the lessons from the Fukushima nuclear accident in all our activities. Most notably the JANSI Annual Conference is held every March and the lessons from the accident are highlighted and reinforced at this venue.”
Not wavering: Currently, 10 nuclear power plants at six sites in Japan have been returned to service following safety upgrades stemming from JANSI activities. “It is notable that these stations have embraced the mission and values of JANSI and are operating at a high level of safety and reliability,” Webster and Yamazaki said. While they recognize that “significant work” remains for the organization, they are ready to rise to the task: “At JANSI we will not waver and will aim to improve Japan’s nuclear safety while firmly maintaining our independence as a self-regulatory organization.”