Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Experts report active fault beneath Shika No. 1 N-reactor

Hokuriku Electric Power Co.’s Shika nuclear power plant in Ishikawa Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A team of experts said in a report submitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday that a fault under the No. 1 reactor at the Shika nuclear power plant in Ishikawa Prefecture is active.
As Japan’s new nuclear plant safety standards prohibit the construction of important facilities, such as reactors, on sites directly above active faults, Hokuriku Electric Power Co., which owns the plant could face difficulties reactivating the No. 1 reactor and possibly be forced to decommission it.
The new safety standards were compiled based on the lessons learned from the triple reactor meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was heavily damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The Shika plant is the third Japanese nuclear plant found by an NRA team of experts to have an active fault running beneath the plant premises, after Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tsuruga plant in Fukui Prefecture, adjacent to Ishikawa, and Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Higashidori plant in Aomori Prefecture.
Also, it is the second time that an active fault has been judged to be located under an important nuclear plant facility, after the case of the Tsuruga plant.
In the report, the investigation team said it is reasonable to judge that part of the S-1 fault directly under the building of the No. 1 reactor at the Shika plant is active.
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