Saturday, May 7, 2011

Japan nuclear plant paralyzed by the high seismic risk

Japan Tokyo .- The Government today called for a stay of Hamaoka nuclear power plant, considered one of the most dangerous in Japan, before the need for extreme security in a country still locked in a nuclear crisis. The decision was taken to the seismic risk in the area where the plant is located on the edge of the sea and about 190 miles southwest of Tokyo, which fears it could cause a "great" earthquake by the confluence of three tectonic plates .

The Japanese Ministry of Science estimates that 87 per cent chance that in that area happen in the next thirty years an earthquake of 8 magnitude on the Richter scale. Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, was he formally requested the suspension of Hamaoka, where operations were just two of its five reactors because two units are in the process of being dismantled and a third is under review.

Khan explained that the plant will not restart until you have sufficient security measures in the medium and long term, the safety systems such as dikes, to face a tsunami or an earthquake of high magnitude. The closing of the Hamaoka plant, which generates 2,500 megawatts of electricity, could last for at least two years, depending on Nuclear Safety Agency of Japan, quoted by the local agency Kyodo.

It is the first time the Japanese Government claims the closure until further order of a nuclear plant since the crisis unleashed by the earthquake of 11 March, which was greeted with delight by environmental organizations like Greenpeace. Unlike the plant in Fukushima, Hamaoka not damaged by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, but is located in a zone, the Pacific coast of Shizuoka prefecture, which is closely watched by experts for its high risk seismic.

According to the local agency Kyodo, the operator of the plant, Chubu Electric, intends to comply with the formal request of the Government, which will generate serious economic problems, in addition to fearing for electricity in the area. "This is a decision made after reflecting on the safety of the people," said the chief Japanese government, which acknowledged today that his Cabinet's response to the disaster of 11 March was "inadequate in multiple respects." Japan has not yet been able to control the situation in the Fukushima nuclear plant, whose reactors were without the cooling system 9 earthquake and tsunami of March 11, which caused 25,000 people dead or missing.

Nuclear accident that was established in grade 7, the highest on an international scale which until then had only reached the explosion at Chernobyl (Ukraine) in 1986 while experts say that Nippon was not as severe. Although the operating company, TEPCO, not expected to resolve the nuclear crisis Fukushima until later this year, has gradually reduced the level of alarm, and yesterday his workers could enter the building of a reactor, for the first time since the accident .

Four nuclear power plants operating in Japan to have entered automatic shutdown by the strong earthquake on 11 March and is feared to have restrictions in electricity supply during the sweltering and humid summer Japan. Another nuclear plant, the Tsuruga (central Japan) has been leaking radioactive and one of its reactors, number 2, will be manually stopped tomorrow, Saturday, to investigate what happened.

The authorities of the Japanese province of Fukui, where Tsuruga, suspected leak from nuclear fuel rods from the reactor 2 of the central, although apparently not alarming levels.

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