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Fukushima nuclear plant operator in Japan: No new security issues after Jan. 1 quake

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TOKYO — The operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy plant in Japan mentioned Tuesday it has no new security worries and envisions no modifications to the plant’s decommissioning plans even after a lethal earthquake on Jan. 1 prompted minor harm to a different idled nuclear plant, rekindling issues and prompting a regulatory physique to order an in depth examination.

The magnitude 7.6 quake on New Yr’s Day and dozens of robust aftershocks in Japan’s north-central area have left 222 individuals {dead} and 22 unaccounted for. The principle quake additionally prompted a small tsunami.

Two reactors on the Shika nuclear energy plant on the western coast of the quake-struck Noto peninsula survived. However its operator, Hokuriku Electrical Energy Co., later reported non permanent energy outages because of harm to transformers, the spilling of radioactive water from spent gas cooling swimming pools and cracks on the bottom, however no radiation leaked exterior.

“In the mean time, we consider there will not be any change to our (Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning) plan due to the Noto quake,” mentioned Akira Ono, the top of the Tokyo Electrical Energy Firm Holdings’ decommissioning unit for Fukushima Daiichi.

He mentioned TEPCO’s evaluation confirmed the integrity of all Fukushima Daiichi reactor buildings even within the potential case of a quake 1.5 instances as highly effective because the one which struck in March 2011.

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The magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that 12 months destroyed key cooling techniques on the plant, triggering triple meltdowns, spewing radioactive supplies to surrounding areas and leaving some areas nonetheless unlivable.

Ono added that TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear energy plant, the world’s largest, which holds seven reactors in its advanced and is situated 118 kilometers (73 miles) east of the epicenter, had no main issues and wouldn’t require extra security measures. However he mentioned the utility would look ahead to nuclear security regulators to evaluation the impression of the Noto quakes.

He additionally acknowledged that the New Yr’s Day earthquake caught many individuals “off guard” and was a get up name for Fukushima Daiichi, the place a number of operations are carried out, so it is going to be higher ready to include potential dangers from the used tools or services that stay on the advanced when one other main quake or a tsunami hits.

TEPCO has since been engaged on the plant’s decommissioning, a frightening job anticipated to take many years to complete if it is achieved. Ono mentioned services which have been constructed on the Fukushima Daiichi plant because the catastrophe have been designed below strict security requirements set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

“I consider there will probably be no main impression on them” from the Noto quake, Ono mentioned.

The NRA at a gathering final week requested for additional investigation despite the fact that preliminary assessments confirmed there was no speedy threat to the Shika plant. NRA officers mentioned Shika’s operator ought to contemplate the potential for extra harm to transformers and different key tools as aftershocks proceed.

The NRA order displays Japan’s higher vigilance over security dangers after the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns.

TEPCO is raring to restart its solely workable Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant after greater than 10 years of stoppage, following the NRA’s lifting of a greater than two-year ban over its lax nuclear safeguard measures on the website.

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