NRA team still seems leaning toward ruling fault under Aomori nuke plant is active

JIJI, Kyodo

A team of experts from the Nuclear Regulation Authority finished its second study Wednesday of underground crush zones at Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Higashidori nuclear power plant to determine if they are active faults.

The nuclear watchdog has so far kept unchanged its earlier assessment that the faults under the plant in Aomori Prefecture are active, but NRA Commissioner Kunihiko Shimazaki told reporters the NRA may conduct yet another study before announcing a conclusion.

Shimazaki lead the two-day study of suspected active faults beneath the plant.

Following the first study in December, the team said in May the crush zones under the plant are active faults.

Tohoku Electric claims they are inactive and has performed its own study of the underground crush zones, including boring into them. The two-day study by the NRA viewed the utility’s findings.

If they are judged to be active, Tohoku Electric would be forced to decommission the plant’s reactor 1.

Even if there are no active faults under key facilities, Tohoku Electric may need to conduct seismic reinforcement work if the NRA concludes there are active faults beneath the premises of the plant.