Regulator: active faults beneath Higashidori nuclear plant
AOMORI, Japan, Dec. 14 (Kyodo) — A Japanese nuclear regulator Friday suggested that earthquake faults beneath the Higashidori nuclear power plant site in Aomori Prefecture could be active and dangerous.
Nuclear Regulation Authority Commissioner Kunihiko Shimazaki made the suggestion at a press conference after a two-day on-the-spot survey of the plant site owned by Tohoku Electric Power Co.
Shimazaki and other survey participants will meet next Thursday to consider the survey results.
If they suspect the faults are active, it may be difficult for Tohoku Electric to restart the plant now left offline amid safety concerns after the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The Higashidori plant has one reactor with another reactor being planned. The reactor entered commercial operation in December 2005 and suspended operation for regular checkups in February 2011.
The second reactor construction plan has been left uncertain since the Fukushima accident.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has a plan to build two rectors at a site neighboring the Higashidori plant. Construction of the first started in January 2011 and has been suspended since the Fukushima accident.
Shimazaki also indicated that the TEPCO plan could be affected because the faults beneath the Higashidori plant site stretch to the planned TEPCO plant site.