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23 July, 2015

NRA Panel: Activeness of Faults under Shika “Cannot Be Ruled Out” Again

On July 17, a draft evaluation report was issued by an expert panel of the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) looking into whether the seismic faults running under the premises of the Shika Nuclear Power Plants are active. The reactors, owned and operated by the Hokuriku Electric Power Co., are located in Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan.

Shika NPPs

The report stated, “Although no clear basis has been found to affirm that the faults were active after the Late Pleistocene (some 120,000 to 130,000 years ago), the possibility of their displacement and deformation cannot be denied.” Various faults were evaluated for their activeness, including the one known as S-1, which runs directly under Shika-1 (BWR, 540MWe).

According to an additional investigation based on the panel’s previous reports, Hokuriku Electric Power had argued that the faults cannot be active in the future. However, having received the latest draft, the power company released a comment describing the judgment as “hardly rational,” saying it would promptly analyze the report and submit a written opinion to the NRA.

Currently, Shika-2 (ABWR, 1,206MWe) is undergoing an examination by the NRA to confirm its compatibility with the new national regulatory standards for commercial reactors.

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