About Us

Report on Measures to Prevent Recurrence of Improper Water Intakes at Shinanogawa Power Plant

East Japan Railway Company

February 10, 2010

The Shinanogawa Power Plant, a hydroelectric power plant operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), was the subject of administrative measures on March 10, 2009 canceling its exclusive use of river flows based on the River Law and was instructed to put recurrence prevention measures in place. (Shinanogawa Power Plant is a collective name for the Senju, Ojiya and Shin–Ojiya power plants located in Ojiya and Tokamachi cities, Niigata Prefecture).
This is to announce that today, February 10, we reported to the chief of the Hokuriku Regional Development Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on our measures to prevent recurrence of improper water intakes at the Shinanogawa Power Plant.

Report content

The content of our report to the chief of the Hokuriku Regional Development Bureau is as follows.

  Report on measures to prevent recurrence of improper water intakes at Shinanogawa Power Plant
 

Our report outlined specific measures in three broad areas: I. Awareness measures; II. Improvement in organizations and systems; and III. Creating a highly transparent workplace environment. The report also covered items performed heretofore and policies for the future.

Going forward, JR East will steadily carry out these measures and make every effort to prevent recurrence and win back trust.
*Refer to the contents described below for more details.
   
  We will also do everything in our power to gain understanding from residents of the region and all people concerned relating to acquiring new water rights and resuming operation of the Shinanogawa Power Plant.


[Details]

Report on measures to prevent recurrence of improper water intakes at Shinanogawa Power Plant



Overview of Recurrence Prevention Measures


I. Awareness measures

  1. Employee awareness training on River Law compliance, etc.
       
    The following training is being continuously given to those concerned with water usage operations to ensure proper understanding of the River Law, etc. We are furthermore enhancing training as appropriate based on the level of mastery of those concerned.
       
    1) Training on River Law
    2) Training on water usage rules and internal regulations
    3) Role-play training on response to irregular situations
    4) "Compliance Action Plan" training to raise awareness of compliance with the law
    5) "Technical Expert Ethics" training with case studies of improper cases
       
  2. Review of long–term personnel assignment policy
       
    We are reviewing the personnel assignment policy that we have been following, and are making changes so that employees there will have experience in other departments and employees from other departments will be brought in. This will create checking–functions based on company–wide values and will eliminate the closed–workplace environment.
       
    1) Assign persons with experience in other departments to administrative posts
    2) Periodically change some employees handling River Law-related operations
    3) Assign employees from other departments to non–specialist positions at the Shinanogawa Power Plant
       


II. Improvement in organizations and systems

  3. Reinforcement of compliance system
       
    Company-wide measures
    We are implementing measures continuously to give all employees a thorough understanding of the importance of compliance, and conducting general inspections of compliance status in all departments of the company.
       
    1) General inspections of compliance status
    2) Review of "Compliance Action Plan" to ensure company-wide penetration
    3) Enrichment and reinforcement of training system
    4) Conducting awareness surveys on compliance
    5) Conducting legal affairs seminars
       
    Power generation department measures
    We are building a system that reports compliance-related issues in the power generation department in a timely and appropriate manner to the compliance system of the entire company, and a system that conducts audits of power generation department operations periodically, from both internal and external points of view. Also, we are reinforcing the collection of hydroelectric power generation compliance information.
       
    6) Reinforcement of audit system with internal and voluntary operational audits
    7) Conducting mutual work audits between hydroelectric and thermal power operations
    8) Determining the state of legal compliance status initiatives by establishing a "Committee of Outside Experts on Hydroelectric Power Generation"
    9) Training chief engineers for dam management and holding liaison meetings with other companies
       
  4. Establishment of committee of outside experts on hydroelectric power generation
       
    As part of reinforcing our compliance system, we have established a "Committee of Outside Experts on Hydroelectric Power Generation." (Executive managing director as Chairman)
       
  5. Set up of operational improvement and reinforcement projects at power plants, etc.
       
    With a vice president as senior supervisor, the company as a whole is discussing and considering power plant operational improvement policies and so on within the company and steadily promoting such improvements to ensure operations are conducted appropriately.
       
  6. Revision of internal organization
       
    We have reinforced systems by updating our organization at Shinanogawa Power Plant, branch offices and the head office; clarified roles and responsibilities; and newly established an organization that strongly promotes operational improvements and better partnerships with the community.
       
   
Assignment of new deputy manager in charge of water usage at Shinanogawa Power Plant, and an energy section and deputy chief of energy at the head office of Electricity Network Department; reinforcing the system to check appropriateness of water usage applications and reports
   
Establishment of a "Shinanogawa Power Plant Improvement Department" that strongly promotes operational improvements and better partnerships with the community and, as an organization within that department, a local "Shinanogawa Power Plant Improvement Office"
   
Establishment of an "Energy Management Center" attached to the head office and relocation there of operations previously under jurisdiction of Tokyo branch office, in order to clarify responsibility for power generation and distribution operations and smooth the flow of command
   
New ISO group at Shinanogawa Power Plant
       
  7-1. Review of system of regulations on water usage at power plants
         
      We have clarified rules regarding water usage under the River Law at Shinanogawa Power Plant. We have established:
         
     
"Hydroelectric Power Plant Operating Regulations" as our regulations relating to the River Law
     
A "Water Usage Operation Guide" to clarify operations flow relating to water usage
     
A "Chief Engineer for Dam Management Manual" to clarify roles and responsibilities of chief engineers for dam management
     
A "Hydroelectric Power Generation Facility Manual" that clarifies operating methods, etc. relating to construction and design
     
"Shinanogawa Power Plant Operations Rules" clarifying operation of Shinanogawa Power Plant
      Including the above, we have newly established 12 regulations on water usage and revised others.
         
  7-2. General control system improvement
         
      We have improved facilities and systems to ensure appropriate water intake.
         
     
Addition of water level data display, recording and storage functions
     
Reinforcement of alarm functions
     
Changes in format and specifications of daily water system report
        ...and other facility and system improvements
         
  8. Acquisition of ISO9001 certification
       
    We aim to attain ISO9001 certification (international standard of quality management systems) at the Shinanogawa Power Plant to enhance the strictness and transparency of operations related to water usage there.
       


III. Creating a highly transparent workplace

  9. Consulting with river administrator in advance
       
    After the Energy Management Center and head office Electricity Network Department Energy Group check an overview of construction plans at the Shinanogawa Power Plant, decide matters such as whether applications for permission are necessary based on the River Law and make sure that nothing is missing, we then will consult with the river administrator in advance.
(27 cases were consulted beforehand in FY2009.)
       
  10. Cooperation with municipalities, etc.
       
    To create a highly transparent workplace environment, we are stepping up cooperation with local municipalities and contributing locally to ensure harmonious coexistence.
       
    1) Establishment of new Shinanogawa Power Plant Improvement Office and Tokamachi, Ojiya and Nagaoka offices
    2) Sending Apology and notice of establishment of Improvement Office and toll–free number set up
    3) Explanation of improper water intake to local people, and meetings to explain the situation to citizens
    4) Holding a Senju Power Plant open house
    5) Participation in regional events, etc.
       
    In addition, providing active regional contributions that help us live harmoniously with the community.
       
  11. Open discussion with site staff at head office etc.
       
    We will hold meetings to exchange opinions among the head office, Energy Management Center and Shinanogawa Power Plant staff, which communicate messages directly from top management and help us accurately learn the site conditions.
       

The above was reported to the chief of the Hokuriku Regional Development Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
Going forward, JR East will steadily carry out these measures and make every effort to prevent recurrence and win back trust. Again, we sincerely apologize to the local community and all concerned for their trouble and worry.



Back