Court ruling keeps Hamaoka units operating

26 October 2007

[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.

Further information

Chubu Electric Power

WNA's Nuclear Power in Japan information paper
Nuclear Power Plants and Earthquakes information paper

WNA's Earthquakes and Nuclear Safety microsite

WNN: International quake resistance standard planned
WNN: Tepco lists earthquake effects
WNN: Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear units shut down on earthquake

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