5 Février 2015
February 5, 2015
Feb. 5, 2015 - Updated 11:56 UTC+1
Japan's nuclear regulator is studying an active fault near a nuclear power plant in Shimane Prefecture, western Japan.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Thursday started the survey of the fissure lying 2 kilometers south of the plant.
The survey is aimed at checking the results of a report submitted to the authority by plant operator Chugoku Electric Power Company for a safety screening. The assessment is a prerequisite for restarting the plant's No. 2 reactor.
The length of the fault and its structure beneath the plant complex are among the focal points to determine the facility's earthquake resistance level.
NRA commissioner Akira Ishiwatari on Thursday studied a trench dug beyond what the utility says is the eastern end of the fault. He also visited a hill where the ground surface was scraped off and layers are being revealed for research.
The commissioner then visited a site near the coast under which the utility says the fault's western end lies. He was briefed by utility officials about their topographic investigation there. Chugoku Electric says the fault extends 22 kilometers.
Ishiwatari later said he understood most of the officials' explanations. But he said he told them that additional studies will be needed because he now has questions about the fault's western end.
The commissioner on Friday plans to study the results of fault investigations the utility conducted in the plant's compound.