For nuclear plants on active faults, reactors aren’t only risk

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Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is not just worried about the safety of the nuclear reactors at the Tsuruga and Higashidori nuclear power plants, they also have raised concerns about the combined 800 tons of spent nuclear fuel which is stored at the two facilities which have been decided have active earthquake faults running underneath them.  Experts say that the spent fuel pool cooling systems could be damaged, and that threat should not be ignored.

The spent fuel pools at the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture hold 80 tons of spent fuel for reactor 1, and 500 tons of spent fuel for reactor 2.

Underneath both buildings are active faults and crush zones, and other active faults and crush zones have been found  only 250 meters from the site.


The spent fuel pools at the Higashidori nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture hold 131 tons of spent fuel for reactor 1, and 104 tons of spent fuel for reactor 2.

The Higashidori facilities have been found to be only 200 and 400 meters from two separate active faults (F-3 and F-9).  Heitaro Kaneda, associate professor at Chiba University, warned that if these zones move, an earthquake greater than magnitude 7 could be generated.  Other experts have also pointed out that other faults known to exist at the Higashidori site could also be active.

Ruling out the existence of active faults under the reactors, both Japan Atomic Power and Tohoku Electric said they have no plans to relocate the plants.

Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi power plant has 262 tons of spent fuel in reactors 3 and 4, the only units operating in Japan, and 1,329 tons in the reactor buildings’ pools.

Source: JiJi Press


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