Hamaoka plant holds Nankai drill

JIJI

Chubu Electric Power Co. conducted a disaster drill at its Hamaoka nuclear power plant Thursday that tested preparations in the event of a powerful earthquake centered in the Nankai Trough.

Seismologists have expressed concern that a large quake off the country’s Pacific coast could trigger tsunami that would cause widespread destruction

An estimated 1,000 people participated in the drill at the idled power plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The drill was conducted under a scenario that three of the plant’s reactors — units 3, 4 and 5 — lost power and cooling functions after a magnitude 7 quake in the trough triggered tsunami that swamped the shoreline utility. A fire engine pumped up water from a nearby river for use to cool the reactors, the company said.

Chubu Electric suspended the operations of the Hamaoka plant in May 2011 at the request of the government, two months after the magnitude 9 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant.