“I don’t know what you’re trying to say.” Nuclear Power’s incoherent explanation that left the regulatory commission stunned during the Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2 restart review: Tokyo Shimbun TOKYO Web

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has resumed its review of the Japan Atomic Power Company’s Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2 (Fukui Prefecture), which had been suspended due to inappropriate rewriting of geological data, to determine whether it complies with the new regulatory standards. It started to stagnate. The nuclear power plant’s explanation lacked scientific basis, and its own claims became frayed in the debate over the critical fault. (Seiko Watanabe)

 Examination of Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2In November 2015, Japan Atomic Power Company (NEP) applied to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for a review of compliance with the new regulatory standards. In 2020, it was discovered that geological data had been rewritten as pointed out by the regulatory commission. A description that linked to the possibility of an active fault was rewritten without permission to a description that denied it. Even in the revised materials, the observation location of the strata was incorrect. The examination was suspended twice. JEPCO resubmitted a revised application in August of this year, and the application was reopened in September.

◆When is the K fault near the building active?

The first focus of the review is whether the “K fault” near the reactor building is an active fault. The new regulatory standards define active faults as faults that cannot be ruled out to have been active since the late Pleistocene epoch, approximately 120,000 to 130,000 years ago. The key point is the timing of the activity.

At the November 10th meeting of the regulatory commission that discussed this point, JAPC gave contradictory explanations, leaving officials at the regulatory commission’s secretariat confused.

Regarding the analysis results that show the age of the strata where there is evidence of K Fault activity being “124,000 to 142,000 years ago,” JEPCO states that the K Fault’s activity period is older than the Late Pleistocene and is not an active fault. insisted.

However, some of the figures are included in the late Pleistocene period, and the nuclear power explanation does not make sense. Even when the NRA Secretariat repeatedly pointed out the discrepancy, the answer was always unclear, saying, “The decision was made comprehensively.” When the regulatory commission asked, “Is it okay to understand that we are entering the late Pleistocene?”, a JAPC representative admitted, “That’s what happens when we enter the late Pleistocene.”

Judging from this exchange, it appears that the nuclear power plant has acknowledged the possibility of an active fault.

◆Don’t have the required data for your application?

Nuclear Power’s review resumed in September this year on the “premise” that the resubmitted application included all the necessary explanations and data.

However, at the review meeting that day, explanations continued that did not get the gist of the nuclear power plant. In response to questions from the NRA secretariat, JAPC repeatedly said things like “we’ll sort things out again” and “we’ll take it back and consider it.” There were times when JAPC officials remained silent as they did not understand the meaning of the questions.

Frustrated executives at the NRA secretariat asked, “Are you planning to collect data now?” and asked whether the premise for restarting the review had been met. “I would like to organize and present it again,” was the only answer he could give. The premise that was promised to the regulatory commission has almost completely collapsed.

If the K fault is determined to be an active fault, the review will move on to a discussion of whether the K fault is connected to another fault directly beneath Unit 2. If it is determined that the K fault is an active fault and that it is connected to the fault directly below Unit 2, then the conclusion is that there is an active fault directly below Unit 2.

◆There is a possibility that Unit 2 will be decommissioned

Regarding the fault directly beneath Unit 2, a team of experts from the National Regulation Commission pointed out in 2012 that “the possibility of an active fault cannot be denied.” The new regulatory standards do not allow the installation of important facilities such as nuclear reactors on active faults. If Nuclear Power is unable to prove through this review that there is no possibility of an active fault, decommissioning of Unit 2 will be inevitable.

The resumed examination also began with an explanation that lacked evidence, without any in-depth discussion. A senior official at the regulatory commission secretariat complained about the nuclear power plant’s apparent lack of capacity, looking tired. “The questions and answers don’t match. I don’t know what you’re trying to say.”

2023-12-03 21:00:00
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