Underground faults at Higashidori nuclear power plant judged highly likely to be active

Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant Aomori Prefecture

A panel from the Nuclear Regulation Authority in Japan released a report that says two faults underneath the Higashidori nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture are highly likely active.  This throws a large monkey wrench in the plans of the utilities which operate the nuclear power plant, who had thought that the Higashidory Unit 1 reactor would be able to be restarted by July 2015 prior to the finding.

Tohoku Electric, the utility which operates the two of the four units plant and TEPCO, who operates the other two), had claimed that the faults were not active but created by swelling of the soil after absorbing water not seismic activity, but the NRA panel dismissed that claim saying that the operator’s survey was inadequate.

The NRA concluded that all eight F-type faults found on-site are “systematically linked”, and that two of the faults named “F-3” and “F-9” have produced repeated strike-slip thrusts in the past.  Tohoku Electric announced that they would begin further investigations on-site on February 19th in response to the findings in order to short that there were no active faults and would release the results of their investigation in December, but the NRA made it clear that they would conclude their report without waiting for the utility to complete its probe.

Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, NRA officials have concluded that the Tsuruga nuclear power plant and the Ohi nuclear power plant are also likely constructed over active earthquake faults.  The NRA has announced that they are currently considering expanding the active fault investigation to three more nuclear power plants in Japan.

Source: NHK

Source: JiJi Press

Source: Mainichi

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