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Dec 17, 2012

[Sankei Shimbun] Nuclear Reactor at Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant Likely to be Decommissioned - Shock to Kansai Electric Power Company


Please stop operating as many nuclear reactors as possible.  Please decommission them.
Masatoshi Takeshita
December 11, 2012


Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant
( Fukui Prefecture in Japan )


English translation of a Japanese article: Monju Bosatsu – December 11, 2012 –
Source: Sankei Shimbun – December 10, 2012 at 21:31)


Nuclear Reactor at Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant Likely to be Decommissioned – Shock to Kansai Electric Power Company
Infoseek Rakuten News


The fracture zone directly beneath the Tsuruga nuclear power plant (Fukui Prefecture) operated by the Japan Atomic Power Co. (JAPCO) has almost concluded to be an active fault and it is likely that the nuclear reactor there will be decommissioned.  This news has posed a quite a shock to electric power companies including Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO).  This is because the KEPCO and other power companies have used the Tsuruga plant as power supply source and also have spent a vast amount of money on the operation and maintenance of the plant.  It is pointed out that the fracture zones beneath the sites of both Oi and Mihama nuclear power plants (Fukui Prefecture) operated by KEPCO and the Shiga nuclear power plant by Hokuriku Electric Power Company are also likely to be active faults.  Therefore, the possibility that reactors at these plants will be decommissioned, which depends on the decision of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), cannot be ruled out.

Revenue from power rates the JAPCO receives from electric power companies is composed of the ‘basic charge’ for operation and maintenance of the nuclear power plant and the ‘meter rate’ varying based on electric supply.  Revenue for 2010 from KEPCO alone amounted to 42.5 billion yen.  As for revenue for 2011, it reached 34 billion yen, which accounted for 8.4 percent of total payment for electricity purchased by KEPCO, in spite of the suspension of No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the Tsuruga nuclear power plant.

As KEPCO expected to receive electric power from the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in the future, President Shosuke Mori told a press conference at the Kansai Economic Federation to call for restarting the plant, saying “KEPCO has paid a considerable amount of fixed costs and naturally wants to receive enough electricity commensurate with such payment.”

On the other hand, as the fracture zone beneath the Tsuruga plant has been almost concluded to be an active fault, power companies beneath which there may be active faults are seriously scared about future survey.

On-site survey is slated for 13th and 14th this month in five nuclear power plants including the Totsu nuclear power plant operated by Tohokoku Electric Power Company (Aomori Prefecture).  As for the fracture zone beneath the site of Totsu plant, Professor Mitsuhisa Watanabe, Toyo University (specialist of geomorphology) points out that “the zone is considered to be an active fault by most definitions.”  It is pointed out that the faults beneath the sites of KEPCO’s Mihama nuclear plant and the Monju fast-breeder reactor (Fukui Prefecture) and the active faults beneath the neighborhood area will be activated together.

An additional survey of the fracture zone at the site of Oi nuclear power plant where No. 3 and No.4 reactors are in operation will be made by NRA’s research team of experts on 28th and 29th this month.  KEPCO comments “we would like to explain it is not an active fault” but if it is judged to be an active fault, operation of No. 3 and No. 4 reactors is highly likely to be suspended.


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