• M2M money train

    SA's biggest mobile operators have found a new revenue stream, says Gugu Lourie.

  • Customers as experts

    Some M4Jam micro jobbers are now helping others to refine their ability to make money.

  • Sticking it to Sanral

    The time is now for citizen-centric leadership to stop the road to ruin, says Mandi Smallhorne.

Data provided by iNet BFA
Loading...
See More

World's biggest nuclear plant may shut

Jan 25 2013 10:34 AFP

(Picture: Shutterstock)

Related Articles

Tepco receives $12.8bn public bailout

Japan plans to break up Tepco - report

Tough restructuring for Japan's Tepco

Japan's Tepco debt waive call draws ire

Japan to help pay nuclear victims

Tepco executives sued for $67bn

 

Tokyo - The largest nuclear power plant in the world may be forced to shut down under tightened rules proposed by Japan's new nuclear watchdog aimed at safeguarding against earthquakes, a report said on Friday.

Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power's vast Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in central Japan could be on the chopping block if the Nuclear Regulation Authority expands the definition of an active fault.

The movement of a fault - a crack in the earth's crust - can generate massive earthquakes like the one that sparked a tsunami that slammed into the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011, setting off the worst atomic crisis in a generation.

The watchdog is planning to define an active fault as one that moved any time within the past 400 000 years, rather than the current 120 000 to 130 000-year limit, an official said, which could spell the end of the Tepco plant.

"The new guidelines will be put into effect in July, and then we will re-evaluate the safety of each of Japan's nuclear plants," said the NRA official, adding no decisions would be made until the new rules were in place.

At least two "non-active" faults underneath the site's reactors could be ensnared by the new definition, forcing its closure, according to a report in the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper on Friday.

Other Japanese media have carried similar reports.

A company spokesman said Tepco was conducting more tests on the faults underneath the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, the world's biggest by generating capacity.

The NRA is conducting or planning to conduct investigations into six other nuclear plants in Japan.

At present only two of the country's 50 reactors are operational, after the entire stable was shuttered over several months for scheduled safety checks. Public resistance has meant the government has been reluctant to give the go-ahead for their re-starting.

The two reactors that are working are both being investigated by seismologists.

In 2007, the government ordered the temporary closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake destroyed hundreds of homes in the area and jolted the sprawling plant, which was close to the quake's epicentre, leading to a small radiation leak.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck off Japan's northeastern coast in 2011 triggered the tsunami that left about 19 000 dead and set off the emergency at Fukushima.

No one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the nuclear catastrophe, but radiation leaks forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and left swathes of agricultural land unfarmable.

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

tepco  |  japan  |  nuclear plant
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...