A second nuclear plant in Japan sits atop a possibly active seismic fault, government-appointed experts said Friday, days after the first facility was said to be at risk. A panel appointed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said fractured strips of earth beneath the Higashidori plant's compound in northern Japan may be active faults, meaning it would likely have to be scrapped.
On Monday, geologists said it was probable that the Tsuruga nuclear plant in the center of the country was sitting on faults that showed signs of geologically recent movement. Active faults are those that, amongst other things, have moved within the past 120,000-130,000 years. Under government guidelines atomic installations cannot be sited on a fault if it is still classed as active.
NRA acting head Kunihiko Shimazaki said some of the fractures under the Higashidori plant compound may have resulted from tectonic movement in the past 100,000 years.
All but two of Japan's nuclear reactors remain offline after being shuttered for regular safety checks in the aftermath of the 2011 crisis at Fukushima, when a huge tsunami generated by an earthquake caused meltdowns.