30 Septembre 2013
September 25, 2013
Volcanoes may hamper nuclear plant restart
Japan's nuclear regulator has urged an operator of a nuclear plant on the northern main island of Hokkaido to look further into possible effects of volcanoes.
Officials at the Nuclear Regulation Authority have been examining the safety of 6 nuclear power plants around the country. Utilities are hoping to get them operational again.
On Wednesday, officials from the NRA discussed the possible volcanic effects on these plants based on stricter rules implemented after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
The operator of the Tomari nuclear plant explained that it surveyed 39 volcanoes in a 160 kilometer radius around the plant.
It said even a large eruption would not affect the plant.
But the regulators pointed out that the utility's data is not sufficient and said it should conduct its own survey instead of relying on published research.
They urged Hokkaido Electric officials to study ground movement that accompanies volcanic activity as well as the spread of volcanic ash from past eruptions.
Two of the three reactors at the Tomari plant had already been excluded from the NRA's deliberation due to lack of data. The safety check of the plant could take much longer than the operator expected.