NRA Subtly Dooms Tsuruga Nuclear Plant

Japan’s NRA declared a fault under the Tsuruga nuclear plant to be active recently. Since Japan’s laws prohibit a nuclear reactor from being sited over an active fault these geologic inspections have been an important part of any restart considerations.

What is mentioned in the Japan Times version of the story explains clearly how the NRA intends to shut down an unsafe reactor. It had not been clear what the NRA would actually do if an active fault was found as they had not ordered any official shut downs or decommissioning orders to date. One speculation was that this could be to avoid lawsuits with the power company that owns the reactor.

NRA chief Shunichi Tanaka has said the Tsuruga plant’s No. 2 reactor will not undergo the safety exam required to be restarted if D-1 is active, because the unit will no longer be allowed to operate.”

Denial of a needed inspection does sound much nicer than a shut down order.

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