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 February 6, 2015

Regulator: Probe of seismic fault not sufficient

Feb. 6, 2015 - Updated 11:13 UTC+1




Japan's nuclear watchdog says another survey may be needed on an active seismic fault near a nuclear power plant in Shimane Prefecture, western Japan.

The Nuclear Regulatory Authority, or NRA, on Thursday began studying the active fault at the Shimane nuclear plant which is operated by Chugoku Electric Power Company.

The survey focuses on whether an assessment by the plant operator is adequate. The assessment is a prerequisite for restarting the plant's No. 2 reactor.

On Friday, NRA commissioner Akira Ishiwatari said the utility's assessment of the fault lying 2 kilometers south of the plant is not sufficient and he asked the company to conduct additional probe.

Ishiwatari added that his agency may have to do an on-site survey again depending on its findings.

Based on its assessment so far, the utility says that the fault is 22 kilometers long.

But NRA says that if the fault is longer it will be the focus of further screenings. The analysis concerns the jolts that would result from an earthquake and the resistance to those shocks the plant needs.



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