Japan Atomic may have to decommission plant

10 December 2012
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

Japan Atomic Power Co may have to decommission one of its reactors after seismologists concluded the plant is sitting over an active faultline, potentially the first permanent shutdown of a nuclear unit in Japan since the Fukushima disaster last year.

"There is no way we can carry out safety assessments for a restart," the chairman of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), Shunichi Tanaka, said this week at an open meeting after being presented with an assessment there is an active fault under the No. 2 reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear plant.

The government in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active countries, does not allow nuclear plants to be situated over active faultlines.

An NRA panel of seismologists has been reviewing geological records and this month visited Tsuruga to watch the results of boring and other tests.

A fault line extending from below the reactor was assessed to have moved in the past in tandem with another nearby fault, Kunihiko Shimazaki, an NRA commissioner who led the seismic panel, told the meeting.

While Tanaka has no authority to order a permanent shutdown, his comment implies he will not allow the reactor to be restarted, forcing a decision on Japan Atomic over whether to mothball the unit.

A Japan Atomic official who attended the meeting said the company would carry out further seismic studies.

The agency will meet at a later date to make an official announcement on the 1,160 megawatt reactor, the larger of two at the plant in western Japan.

The No. 2 unit started operating in 1987, while the 357-megawatt No. 1 reactor started in 1970.

The NRA is reviewing possible faultlines under or near Tsuruga and five other nuclear stations as part of moves to beef up safety and Tanaka has said any reactors sitting above won't be allowed to restart.

All but two of Japan's nuclear reactors are idled for safety checks after the Fukushima disaster, forcing the country to spend billions of dollars extra on fossil fuels to run power stations.

An earthquake and tsunami in March last year knocked out cooling and power at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi station north of the Japanese capital, causing the biggest release of radiation since Chernobyl in 1986.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Control System Engineer

    United Utilities
    • Lancaster, Lancashire
    • Up to £33415 + Comprehensive Benefits

    Provide ICA maintenance and engineering support to the Water & Wastewater Production

    • Recruiter: United Utilities

    Apply for this job

  • Signal Processing Engineer

    B&W Group
    • Steyning, West Sussex
    • Competitive Salary

    We are looking for a Signal Processing Engineer to support the R&D process on active loudspeaker products.

    • Recruiter: B&W Group

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

    De Montfort University
    • Leicestershire
    • Grade G: £36,672 - £46,414 per annum

    Join the Projects Team to develop and manage medium to large projects on the university estate.

    • Recruiter: De Montfort University

    Apply for this job

  • Advanced Commissioning Engineer

    National Grid
    • Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, England
    • £46000 - £57000 per year

    National Grid is at the heart of energy in the UK. The electricity we provide gets the nation to work, powers schools and lights everyone's way home. Our energy network connects the nation, so it's essential that it's continually evolving, advancing and i

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Oxford Instruments
    • Yatton, Bristol
    • Competitive salary plus excellent benefits

    We are looking for an electrical designer to join our engineering design team.

    • Recruiter: Oxford Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Skilled Electrical Fitter

    MBDA
    • Bolton
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   The Electrical Fitter will carry out manufacturing and test tasks within the electrical department in accordance with product certification procedures, defined workmanship  ...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Manufacturing Technician

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   As a qualified craftsman with experience in electrical manufacturing, the Manufacturing Technician will report to a Team Leader, receiving day to day ...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Consultant Engineer (Electrical Power)

    BAE Systems
    • Cumbria, Barrow-In-Furness, England
    • Negotiable

    Consultant Engineer (Electrical Power) Would you like to play a key role in providing technical direction to the design of power systems on the Successor class submarines, which will replace the current Trident-equipped Vanguard class, currently in servic

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Supply Restoration Team Manager (HV/SAP)

    SSE
    • Oxford, Oxfordshire
    • Salary: £37,588 to £49,645 + Car (SSE8) Depending on skills and experience

    SSE is looking to recruit a Supply Restoration Team Manager to join our existing team in Oxford.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Technical Lead - Global Operations, Engineering & Laboratory

    Pfizer Ltd
    • Kent

    An exciting opportunity has arisen to join a dynamic team of professional engineers, supporting the development of novel drugs.

    • Recruiter: Pfizer Ltd

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T