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Faults said risk to Japan nuclear plants
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (UPI) Dec 21, 2012


Cleanup work resumes at damaged nuke plant
Tokyo (UPI) Dec 21, 2012 - Operators of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan say they've restarted debris removal from the facility's Number 3 reactor building.

Workers with the Tokyo Electric Power Co. resumed debris clearance after a 23-foot-long, 1,000-pound steel frame was recovered from a spent fuel pool, Asahi Shimbun reported Friday.

The steel frame had been accidentally dropped into the fuel pool Sept. 22 during an attempt at debris removal. A remote-controlled crane had begun lifting the frame but it came loose and fell into the pool, Tepco said.

Officials said they didn't believe the steel frame damaged the fuel in the pool at the facility damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Debris removal is expected to be completed by March, Tepco said.

A nuclear watchdog agency in Japan says earthquake faults in the country's Aomori Prefecture may be active and could affect many nuclear facilities.

The finding, announced Thursday by Nuclear Regulation Authority, is expected to prompt further study at nuclear-related operations in the northern end of the island of Honshu, The Asahi Shimbum reported.

Possibly active fault lines could force electric power companies to further postpone plans to restart reactors and require additional quake-resistance measures at the facilities, officials said.

Tohoku Electric Power Co., operator of a plant at Higashidori, had argued faults near the facility were not active.

"It is our shared understanding that (Tohoku Electric's) argument that they are not active faults is totally unacceptable," said Kunihiko Shimazaki, an NRA commissioner and head of the panel that studied the fault lines.

One fault 400 yards west of the Higashidori reactor building stretches for several miles, and another fault runs parallel to it, the panel said.

Tohoku Electric should be prepared for a temblor with a magnitude exceeding 7.0 and its epicenter directly below the plant, panel member Heitaro Kaneda, a professor of earth sciences at Chiba University, said.

Additional studies will be needed on the faults of the entire region, NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said.

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CIVIL NUCLEAR
Quake risk at Japan atomic recycling plant: experts
Tokyo (AFP) Dec 19, 2012
Japan's only reprocessing plant for spent nuclear fuel could sit on an active seismic fault vulnerable to a massive earthquake, experts warned Wednesday. If regulators agree they will have to order its closure and Japan would be without any recycling capacity of its own, a government official told AFP on condition of anonymity. This would leave it dependent on other countries and with no ... read more


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