Second Japan nuclear plant at fault risk

Dec 14, 2012
A Tepco image shows the Fukushima nuclear power plant's third reactor building shortly after an earthquake and tsunami his Japan in 2011. A second nuclear plant in Japan sits atop a possibly active seismic fault, government-appointed experts said Friday, days after the first facility was said to be at risk.

A second nuclear plant in Japan sits atop a possibly active seismic fault, government-appointed experts said Friday, days after the first facility was said to be at risk.

A panel appointed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said fractured strips of earth beneath the Higashidori plant's compound in northern Japan may be active faults, meaning it would likely have to be scrapped.

On Monday, geologists said it was probable that the Tsuruga in the centre of the country was sitting on faults that showed signs of geologically recent movement.

Active faults are those that, amongst other things, have moved within the past 120,000-130,000 years. Under government guidelines atomic installations cannot be sited on a fault if it is still classed as active.

An Air Photo Service picture shows the Fukushima power plant's number three (left) and four reactors shortly after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March 2011.

NRA acting head Kunihiko Shimazaki said some of the fractures under the Higashidori may have resulted from tectonic movement in the past 100,000 years.

All but two of Japan's nuclear reactors remain offline after being shuttered for regular safety checks in the aftermath of the 2011 crisis at , when a huge tsunami generated by an earthquake caused meltdowns.

They must now get the go-ahead from the newly-formed NRA before they can be restarted.

Japan's nuclear watchdog will make a formal assessment on the Higashidori plant next week.

The plant has one reactor which has been idled for checks, while construction of another reactor was suspended after last year's disaster, the worst atomic accident in a generation.

The NRA is also set to conduct inspections at four other plants including the Oi in western Japan, the country's only operating .

Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless by the Fukushima accident, and tracts of prime agricultural land were left unfarmable after radiation spread across a large area.

Anti-nuclear sentiment is running high in Japan, which used to rely on atomic power for around a third of its electricity needs.

Explore further: Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fault under Japan nuclear plant 'may be active'

Nov 11, 2012

Japan's only working nuclear power plant sits on what may be a seismic fault in the earth's crust, a geologist has warned, saying it is "very silly" to allow it to continue operating.

Japan approves nuclear reactor restart

Aug 17, 2011

Japan on Wednesday approved the full resumption of commercial operations of an atomic reactor for the first time since the March 11 quake and tsunami sparked the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Japan reactor back to full power after shutdown

Jul 09, 2012

A nuclear reactor in western Japan began full operations on Monday, the first restart since the country shut down its atomic stations in the wake of last year's crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Japan vows to continue nuclear plant exports

Aug 05, 2011

Japan said Friday it will continue exporting atomic power plants, despite uncertainty over its own use of them as it continues to grapple with a crisis at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.

Japan to go nuclear-free for first time since 1970

May 04, 2012

Japan is set to go without nuclear energy for the first time since 1970 from Saturday, when the last operating reactor shuts down for maintenance, heightening fears of a looming power crunch this summer.

Recommended for you

Qi wireless charging standard offers more design freedom

4 hours ago

Wireless charging is getting a new technology treatment which offers more design freedom. The Wireless Power Consortium's advance in its Qi wireless charging standard means that phones and chargers will no ...

'Wetting' a battery's appetite for renewable energy storage

9 hours ago

Sun, wind and other renewable energy sources could make up a larger portion of the electricity America consumes if better batteries could be built to store the intermittent energy for cloudy, windless days. Now a new material ...

New system to optimize public lighting power consumption

10 hours ago

In order to meet the efficiency requirements of the latest public lighting regulations, researchers from the School of Industrial Engineers of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), in collaboration with ...

Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

Jul 31, 2014

There is much need to develop energy efficient solutions for residential buildings in Europe. The EU-funded project, MeeFS, due to be completed by the end of 2015, is developing an innovative multifunctional and energy efficient ...

Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

Jul 31, 2014

(AP)—American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.

User comments : 0