Active Faults May Doom Japan’s Nuclear Reactors
NISA has ordered owners of the Oi and Shika nuclear plants to inspect faults that run under their reactors in Japan. Experts have been pressing for almost a month that certain fault lines may be active and that Oi should be stopped. Now NISA has caved to public pressure to do something. Based on current media reports it appears the power companies will be left to inspect the faults themselves rather than in cooperation with experts in the field or NISA officials.
Even with warnings there is likely an active fault under Oi, METI/NISA officials see no potential risk and are allowing Oi to restart unit 4 at the same time they are requesting fault testing.
“We do not recognize a risk that would force us to stop the reactivation (of the No. 4 unit.)”
“The reinvestigation order came a day after members of an expert panel of the government agency pointed to the risk posed by a fault, called F-6, running north-south between the Oi plant’s Nos. 1-2 reactors and Nos. 3-4 reactors and a fault named S-1 under the Shika plant’s No. 1 reactor, pointing to the possibility that the faults are active.”
The contradiction seems to be lost on NISA. In Japan it is illegal to operate a nuclear plant over an active fault. If active faults are confirmed the government would be hard pressed for an excuse to continue violating the law.
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