Atkins to assess fire risk at Fukushima nuclear plant

UK-based consultancy Atkins has been awarded a contract by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to undertake fire hazard analysis services at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan (pictured).

Last month experts warned that leaking containers at the plant, which was heavily damaged by the tsunami and earthquake in 2011, could be at risk of hydrogen explosions.

Atkins will prepare a fire hazards analysis for the entire site, which will involve a review of plant documentation and on-site inspections to identify fire hazards, assess safety goals and radioactivity release risk, and provide recommendations.

Atkins said its software package GLASS – an abbreviation of Graphical Logic Analysis Support Software – will help TEPCO make safety decisions based on data capture and analysis, which is more advanced that the traditional paper based system typically used in North America.

Robert Frost, president of Atkins’ nuclear business in North America, said: "We have built an excellent relationship with TEPCO in applying our expertise across the entire lifecycle of nuclear power stations to assure the safe condition of their nuclear fleet."

The contract follows Atkins’ acquisition of Nuclear Safety Associates in September 2014 which added safety and security skills to the company’s nuclear offering.

Photograph: The Fukushima nuclear power plant, damaged after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami (Digital Globe/Wikimedia Commons)

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