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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

New survey at Oi plant

December 28, 2012


Fault survey at Ohi plant may take months



A senior official from Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has suggested surveys at the country's only online nuclear plant may take months before experts determine whether fissures at the facility are parts of an active fault or not.

Kunihiko Shimazaki, a commissioner from the regulatory body, made the announcement on Friday, after a 5 member team he is leading conducted an inspection at the Ohi plant in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan.

Shimazaki said the team plans to analyze what they have studied at the trench dug in the northern part of the plant's site, but he added a conclusion won't be easy to obtain.

He said the team needs to inspect another trench which the operator, Kansai Electric, plans to dig at a site closer to the reactor, as early as next February.

In a previous inspection in November, the team could not determine whether the fissures beneath the plant were parts of an active fault or traces of a landslide. So the team ordered the operator to double the length of the inspection trench to 100 meters.

Kansai Electric has been insisting the fissures are traces of a past landslide.

The expert team will continue the on-site inspection on Saturday.

The authority plans to recommend the halt of the 2 reactors that were restarted in July if it determines fissures running beneath the plant's important facilities are an active fault.


Second survey at Ohi nuclear plant



Experts from Japan's nuclear regulatory body are conducting a second inspection at the country's only operating nuclear power plant, to determine whether fissures under the facility is an active fault.

The five-member Nuclear Regulation Authority team is inspecting a trench on Friday at the Ohi plant in Fukui Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan.

In an on-site inspection in November, the team was unable to determine whether or not fissures running beneath the plant were an active fault.

The team ordered the plant's operator, Kansai Electric, to double the length of the trench to 100 meters for further inspection.

The team will meet early next year to form an assessment based on the results of Friday's inspection.

Kansai Electric has been insisting that the fissures are caused by land slips and are not an active fault.

The plant's numbers 3 and 4 reactors resumed operation in July, the first to do so since the March disaster last year.

The regulatory body says it will ask the operator to shut down the plant if the fissures are confirmed to be an active fault. Government guidelines ban building key facilities in such areas.

The experts have already determined that fissures beneath two other nuclear plants are probably active faults.

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