A seismic fault running underneath a nuclear plant in western Japan is likely to be active, which could force the scrapping of one of its two reactors, according to a team of geologists.
The five-member panel commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority announced that the structure underneath the Tsuruga plant showed signs of seismic movement around 100,000 years ago, recent enough to still be active.
Japanese guidelines prohibit nuclear facilities above active faults. Tsuruga’s No 2 reactor sits directly above the fault and would have to be scrapped if the panel’s conclusion is officially accepted.
All but two of Japan’s 50 remaining reactors are offline for safety checks following last year’s disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
Authorities are also investigating possible faults near several other plants.