The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday accused Japan Atomic Power Co. of modifying the original geological data used to determine whether a fault under the Tsuruga power plant’s controversial No. 2 reactor is active or not.

The nuclear watchdog is screening the safety of the reactor, which Japan Atomic Power wants to restart. An NRA panel has asserted that a fault running underneath the reactor building is active, but Japan Atomic Power denies the claim.

The data in question involve geological information obtained through a drilling survey at the Fukui Prefecture plant.

The NRA has found that portions of the original data were deleted and rewritten without explanation in the documents Japan Atomic submitted to the NRA on Feb. 7.

At Friday’s safety screening meeting, the NRA emphasized that it was “unthinkable to modify or erase original data.”

Japan Atomic, for its part, apologized for “inappropriate handling of data” but insisted that it was not done on purpose.

Explaining that the changes were made after new data were collected, the operator of the power plant said that it “should have shown (the new findings) in a postscript.”

Unconvinced by the company’s explanation, the NRA has demanded that it provide the original geological data and check whether any other changes were made to it without notifying the NRA.

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