Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 May 25 - 31  > Within 30 km radius of Shimane N-plant
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2011 May 25 - 31 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Within 30 km radius of Shimane N-plant

May 30, 2011
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Yoshii Hidekatsu on May 23 made an on-site inspection of the Shimane Nuclear Power Plant, operated by the Chugoku Electric Power Co., and warned, “There is a risk that the building and equipment of the plant may be damaged by seismic vibration.”

On the same day, the utility predicted that a tsunami undertow in this region can reach minus 5.7 meters while admitting the cooling system of the No.1 and No.2 reactors will malfunction if the undertow reaches minus 2.4 meters and 3.5 meters respectively.

Yoshii said, “Immediate preparations for the worst-case scenario should be made.”

The Shimane Nuclear Power Plant is the only nuclear station located in a prefectural capital, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, where anxiety of the residents has reached a peak.

Nonetheless, the Chugoku Electric is still constructing the No.3 reactor while aiming to start a plutonium-thermal project by 2015 at the No.2 reactor.

Within a 30-kilometer radius of the nuclear plant, four cities and two towns in Shimane Prefecture and two cities in Tottori Prefecture are located with a total population of about 420, 000. The site also includes two airports, railroads of the JR San’in Line, and the ancient shrine of Izumo Taisha, a national treasure. Other important buildings are also concentrated within a 10-kilometer radius of the plant, such as the prefectural office building, the nuclear disaster-prevention center, the prefectural police headquarters, Matsue City Hall, and Shimane University.

Meanwhile, after long denial of the existence of an active fault near the nuclear plant, in 1998 the power company acknowledged the “Shinji active fault,” located close to the plant. At the time, the company claimed its length to be only “eight kilometers” but in 2004 it was revised to 10 kilometers and again in 2008 to 22 kilometers.

Experts calculate the active fault to be more than 30 kilometers in length, predicting that an earthquake with a magnitude of about 7 will hit the region.

“We need thorough inspections including a study to find what will happen when the active fault moves continuously,” said Yoshii.

> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved