The owner of a nuclear power plant in Japan deemed to be sitting on an active fault line has dismissed the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s (NRA) findings.

Japan Atomic Power Co could be ordered to decommission the facility at Tsuruga if another study confirms the existence of the fault.
The No. 1 reactor at Tsuruga is the oldest commercial reactor in Japan while the fault was apparently discovered beneath the No. 2 reactor at the central Japan prefecture of Fukui..

If regulatory authorities do order Japan Atomic Power Co. to shut down the plant, it would be the first permanent closure of a nuclear facility since the Fukushima power plant was crippled by a tsunami triggered by last year’s magnitude-9 earthquake.

Announcing the findings of the NRA’s research, Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the NRA, said, “We cannot conduct safety checks for the Tsuruga reactors to restart at this point.”

Operators of nuclear plants are by law not permitted to construct reactors on active fault lines, meaning that if another study confirms the existence of the fault, then the plant will theoretically have to be decommissioned.

In a statement, Japan Atomic Power Co. said the results of the survey were “totally unacceptable.” The company said it would have an independent investigation conducted into the seismic stability of the area.

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