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Earthquake fault underneath spells the end for Tsuruga nuclear plant

Restart of Tsuruga nuclear reactors ‘almost impossible’: safety commission chief  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120427b3.html Kyodo The chances of Japan Atomic Power Co. resuming operations at its Tsuruga nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture are virtually nil now that an active fault is suspected to run directly beneath one of its reactors, the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission said Thursday.If
the fault is confirmed to be active, Japan Atomic Power would be
prevented from restarting the plant’s two reactors unless it can prove
their safety, Haruki Madarame told reporters.

“But such proof is almost impossible,” he added.

On Tuesday, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and members of
its team of experts said a survey indicated that fault fracture zones
or soft earth layers lying right under one the plant’s reactors, as
well as other facilities, may have moved together in the past.

“Needless to say,” a reactor built on the outcrop of an active fault
tilts when the fault moves, Madarame said.

Both reactors at the Tsuruga power station had already been idled for
regular inspections in light of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

According to the commission, guidelines on earthquake resistance for
nuclear plants prohibit the construction of reactors and other key
facilities directly above an active fault. Auxiliary faults that move
in unison with an active fault are also off-limits.

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April 27, 2012 - Posted by | Japan, safety

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