Japan professors warn against restarting reactors: Active faults near Oi plant not properly accounted for — “Devastating” quakes now more likely — Gov’t experts “highly questionable”

Published: June 26th, 2012 at 2:46 pm ET
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Seismologists warn Japan against nuclear restart
Reuters
Jun 26, 2012 4:30pm IST

Two prominent seismologists said on Tuesday that Japan is ignoring the safety lessons of last year’s Fukushima crisis and warned against restarting two reactors next month.

[...]

Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist at Kobe University

  • Seismic modeling by Japan’s nuclear regulator did not properly take into account active fault lines near the Ohi plant
  • “The stress tests and new safety guidelines for restarting nuclear power plants both allow for accidents at plants to occur”
  • “Instead of making standards more strict, [the stress tests and new safety guidelines] both represent a severe setback in safety standards”
  • After an earthquake in 2007 caused radiation leaks at reactors north of Tokyo, Ishibashi said Japan was at risk of a nuclear disaster following a large earthquake
  • While it is impossible to predict when earthquakes will happen [...] the magnitude 9 quake last year made it more likely “devastating” earthquakes would follow

Mitsuhisa Watanabe, a tectonic geomorphology professor at Tokyo University

  • Experts advising Japan’s nuclear industry had underestimated the seismic threat
  • “The expertise and neutrality of experts advising Japan’s Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency are highly questionable”
Published: June 26th, 2012 at 2:46 pm ET
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