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Inspection of damage to the Niigata nuclear facility


The Japanese nuclear regulator says it will investigate damage to underground piles supporting a facility at a nuclear plant in Kashiwazaki Kariwa in Niigata Prefecture.

The Nuclear Regulatory Authority discussed the matter at a regular meeting on Wednesday. Then the Natural Resources Authority secretariat decided to conduct a field inspection early next year.

Tokyo Electric Power Corporation, operator of the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant, said it confirmed the damage during work in July to increase the plant’s earthquake resistance.

Eight reinforced concrete trusses support the foundation of a facility adjacent to the building that houses the plant’s No. 6 reactor.

TEPCO says that each pile is 1.8 meters wide and 12 meters long. The reinforcing bars in one of the piles were found broken or deformed. Cracks were found in the other seven mounds.

At a meeting on Wednesday, NRA President Fuketa Toyoshi said the 2007 earthquake in Niigata may have caused the damage. He suggested clarifying the cause of the damage and other issues.

The NRA Secretariat decided to confirm with TEPCO the cause of the damage, how to repair the piles and whether other facilities were affected.

Reactors No. 6 and 7 at the plant have passed the necessary checks to resume operations. But the NRA launched more inspections recently after a series of massive violations of anti-terror measures led to the reactors being shut down.





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