Nuclear operator seeks restart despite active fault under plant

Kyodo

The operator of a nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture on Thursday filed a formal request for nuclear regulators to conduct safety screening — a precursor to restarting it — despite expert opinion that it sits atop an active geological fault line.

Japan Atomic Power Co. filed the request with the Nuclear Regulation Authority for checks on the No. 2 reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, the 26th such application filed nationwide since stricter safety rules were introduced after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

“We’ve prepared more data by conducting additional drilling surveys,” Nobutaka Wachi, the utility’s managing director said, adding that the company hoped its belief there was no active fault would be accepted.

The company has to show data to disprove the opinions of experts that there is an earthquake risk immediately below the plant.

In March, after holding two field surveys, an investigative team of outside geological experts concluded that at least one of the faults running under the plant could move in the future. In quake-prone Japan, building nuclear plants or other important facilities directly above active faults is prohibited.

The expert team had rejected the utility’s earlier claim that the faults are not active.

The NRA will refer to the assessment by the team in deciding on whether to approve the restart.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. restarted its reactors in August and October in southwestern Japan, becoming the nation’s first utility to do so after 2011.

  • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

    This is Japanese culture; when faced with a fail (eg; Fukushima) DO NOT apply critical thinking skills, but ‘double down’ on failing and ‘Ganbare’ until success (or fail, in which case, double down again!).

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    • 99Pcent

      More racist and vitriol from a Japan hater claiming to be a long term American resident in Japan.

      • Viva75

        Well said. It’s the same vomit-is trash, day in, day out from the same old, usual culprits.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        But you are all reading it!

      • Viva75

        Yes reading it and having a good laugh at your uneducated, feebly childish anti-Japanese drivel. Non of what you write is based on any fact or reality anyway. You don’t even appreciate the fact that you are doing more harm that good for you cause (whatever that is).

      • alain

        I don’t know the guy, but the governement continues to allow the restart of nuclear power stations where it is higly dangerous, and the media are not really informing the nation about the risks involved.
        One of the latest news is that about 110 out of 170 children in Kashiwa ( Chiba) show signs of thyroid problems….beginning of cancer. It is very close to Tokyo and far from Fukushima.
        Let’s add the thousands of radioactive water that are going intp the ocean for more than 4 years.
        So I am afraid Japanese are not well informed by the authorities and also do not want to disturb the wa too much…..
        Hope this great nation will come out of this mess soon.

      • jimhopf

        Risks? Informing the public? Nuclear highly dangerous?

        If the public (or you) were informed, they would know that the public health risks and environmental impacts of the fossil fuels now being used in lieu of nuclear are literally thousands of times higher than any associated with nuclear. The Japanese media/authorities have been drastically over-hyping the relatively minor risks/impacts of Fukushima, while being totally silent on the vastly larger impacts from the fossil fuels that are being used instead.

        Expert consensus is that even Fukushima (the only significant release of pollution in non-Soviet nuclear’s entire history) caused no deaths and will have no measurable public health impacts in the future.

        Meanwhile, fossil fueled power generation causes hundreds of thousands of deaths *annually*, along with global warming. The fossil fuels that Japan has used in lieu of nuclear over just the last four years have already caused the deaths of thousands of Japanese (i.e., an impact vastly larger than the total eventual impact of the Fukushima event).

      • jimhopf

        Risks? Informing the public? Nuclear highly dangerous?

        If the public (or you) were informed, they would know that the public health risks and environmental impacts of the fossil fuels now being used in lieu of nuclear are literally thousands of times higher than any associated with nuclear. The Japanese media/authorities have been drastically over-hyping the relatively minor risks/impacts of Fukushima, while being totally silent on the vastly larger impacts from the fossil fuels that are being used instead.

        Expert consensus is that even Fukushima (the only significant release of pollution in non-Soviet nuclear’s entire history) caused no deaths and will have no measurable public health impacts in the future.

        Meanwhile, fossil fueled power generation causes hundreds of thousands of deaths *annually*, along with global warming. The fossil fuels that Japan has used in lieu of nuclear over just the last four years have already caused the deaths of thousands of Japanese (i.e., an impact vastly larger than the total eventual impact of the Fukushima event).

    • jimhopf

      Critical thinking skills would lead one to choose to restart the nuclear plants as soon as possible (see my other posts). It is Japan’s use of dirty, imported fossil fuels in lieu of nuclear that is irrational and indefensible.

    • jimhopf

      Critical thinking skills would lead one to choose to restart the nuclear plants as soon as possible (see my other posts). It is Japan’s use of dirty, imported fossil fuels in lieu of nuclear that is irrational and indefensible.

  • Richard Solomon

    I suppose one should not be surprised that the owners of a plant will try to convince the NRA that the fault(s) underneath pose no risk of activity. Afterall, their bottom line (profitability) requires that the plant resume operations. Who can predict with certainty that a fault will remain quiescent?

    • jimhopf

      There should be a thorough justification for closure. A multi-billion dollar asset that produces emissions-free electricity 24/7 is worth fighting for. The plant doesn’t only benefit the company, it benefits everyone: the Japanese (lack of air pollution) and the whole world (lack of CO2 emissions, saving fossil fuel reserves, etc..).

      It’s clear that you are blind to (or don’t care about) the consequences of keeping the plant closed. The electricity will just continue to come from the wall, right? No it will come from fossil fuels, including coal. The economic and environmental impacts of that use of (imported) fossil fuels in lieu of nuclear has been, and will be, horrendous.

    • jimhopf

      There should be a thorough justification for closure. A multi-billion dollar asset that produces emissions-free electricity 24/7 is worth fighting for. The plant doesn’t only benefit the company, it benefits everyone: the Japanese (lack of air pollution) and the whole world (lack of CO2 emissions, saving fossil fuel reserves, etc..).

      It’s clear that you are blind to (or don’t care about) the consequences of keeping the plant closed. The electricity will just continue to come from the wall, right? No it will come from fossil fuels, including coal. The economic and environmental impacts of that use of (imported) fossil fuels in lieu of nuclear has been, and will be, horrendous.

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  • Starviking

    I love the way the story is presented as if there is no doubt at all that there is an active fault. All the news without fear or favor my ass!

    • skattan

      Right. Independent experts maintain that there is an active fault under the plant. On the other side, Japan Atomic Power Co claims the faults are not active (well they would, wouldn’t they). Does the Japan Atomic Power Company (owned by TEPCO, KEPCO, etc.) have a shred of credibility left? I think not.
      No fear or favour.

      • Starviking

        Independent? How do you determine that?

        Also, those experts maintain that there may be an active fault – they are not saying there is one.

      • jimhopf

        Even if there was one, I’m not sure I understand the basis of this simplistic, blanket policy. How big (strong) a fault. How much ground acceleration can it produce. Can the plant structures withstand it?

      • skattan

        The NRA claims the experts are independent, not me.

        Maintain: state something strongly to be the case