[Kyodo News, 26 October] The Shizuoka District Court in Japan has rejected a plea to suspend the operation of Chubu Electric Power Company's Hamaoka nuclear power plant. A group of residents, who fear a radiation leak in the event of a major earthquake, filed a lawsuit demanding the plant's closure, noting that the region is at high risk of quakes. However, the court ruled that the plant had sufficient safeguards. Presiding Judge Akira Miyaoka said, "The plant has a quake-resistant structure based on carefully considered simulations of big earthquakes." He added, "The standard earthquake motion of a tremor that would occur in the biggest earthquake assumed by Chubu Electric is appropriate, and the safety allowance of design is sufficiently secured." A major earthquake struck Tokyo Electric Power Compny's (Tepco's) Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant on 16 July. No damage was reported to the reactor or turbine building structures or to major components, despite the earthquake being around twice the power of the plant's design basis. The earthquake was still within the ultimate safe shutdown capability of the design, up to which environmental protection should be assured.
Chubu Electric Power
WNA's Nuclear Power in Japan information paper
WNA's Nuclear Power Plants and Earthquakes information paper
WNA's Earthquakes and Nuclear Safety micrositeWNN: International quake resistance standard plannedWNN: Tepco lists earthquake effectsWNN: Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear units shut down on earthquake