First quarter of 2000
press statement on meetings with british authorities : MITI requests
now the return of the incriminated MOX to the UK
Tokyo, 10 February 2000
1. From 7 to 10
February, Mrs Anna Walker, Director General for Energy DTI had several
talks with Japanese authorities:
MITI, MOFA and other Japanese agencies concerned.
2. The UK side expressed
the UK Government's deep regret and conveyed sincere apologies on behalf
3. Both sides had
fruitful discussions on a number of matters.
4. NII reports
Williams, the Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations in the UK's independent
regulatory body, the Health & Safety Executive, gave the Japanese government
information on their report into the falsification of Quality Assurance
at BNFL's MOX Demonstration Facility. This report will be published
by the HSE on 18 February 2000. (Other NII reports not directly concerning
this issue will also be published on the same day)
report into data falsification at BNFL's MOX Demonstration Facility
will set out the NII's findings on the extent of the falsification,
the surrounding circumstances, the implications for the safety of the
fuel and the remedial measures to be put into place.
5. DTI Presentation
DTI delegation also explained the investigations being undertaken by
BNFL into the falsification and the remedial measures planned by BNFL
to rebuild confidence.
They stressed the desire of BNFL and the UK Gov't to have the Japanese
gov'ts and BNFL's customer's views on the remedial strategy to ensure
that the measures ultimately implemented fully meet their concerns.
6. Response of GOJ
Japanese Gov't expressed its intention to contribute comments on the
NII report and BNFL's plans after 18 February based upon full consideration
of these matters.
7. Issues relating
to the Return of Fuel
Japanese side required that the UK side without delay make proposals
for what to do with the fuel remaining at Takahama site, since, in their
view, the UK side is responsible for what happened to the fuel. MITI
requested to the UK side to send the fuel back to the UK.
UK Government recognized the seriousness of the issue and the need to
resolve it as soon as possible. However, this was a complex matter which
raised contractual issues and also involved both Governments. The UK
Government resolved to contribute its views, looking at all the options
including sending the fuel back to the UK, as soon as possible.