Since last year, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (Tepco) left two broken seismometers unrepaired at reactor No. 3 inside its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, officials said Monday.
Instruments at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture did not record tremors caused by a powerful earthquake that shook the Tohoku region on February 13 because they were not working. In some locations in Tohoku the quake measured the upper 6, the second highest level on the Japanese seismic intensity scale.
The problem was reported during a meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority on Monday.
According to Tepco, seismometers for reactors no. 1 in no. 4 at the power plant collapsed during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit the region and caused a triple meltdown at the power plant.
The company currently measures the strength of earthquakes using seismometers in reactors Nr. 5 and no. 6.
In March last year, the NRA noted the need to assess the seismic adequacy of building no. 3 of the reactor, which was damaged in a hydrogen explosion that occurred during the early stage of the 2011 nuclear crisis.
Within that month, Tepco installed seismometers on the first and fifth floors of the building.
He on the first floor collapsed after sinking due to heavy rain last July, while he on the fifth floor malfunctioned last October.
At a news conference Monday, a Tepco official said the company had planned to install new seismometers after identifying the causes of the malfunctions and implementing preventative measures.
Tecpo should have introduced the replacements in a hurry, before considering replacing them with updated seismometers, the official added.
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