Monday, April 02, 2012

Hamaoka, the world's most dangerous nuclear power plant I cycled near it once on this Pacific Tokai Cycling Road (but that's not my picture). This article from a few weeks ago has been superceded by new estimates of a magnitude 9 quake and a 30-meter wave. Hopefully it will never reopen.
Japan's controversial Hamaoka nuclear plant, shut down after Fukushima, wants to reopen once a 54-ft.-high, mile-long wall is finished. But the plant also sits on a seismic fault line, raising more than a few doubts.
 WSJ, 2011
Since a tsunami wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant a year ago, leading to meltdown in three of its reactors, all eyes in Japan have been on the Hamaoka plant, 300 miles down the coast and similarly located right on the seashore. It has been branded the most dangerous nuclear power station in the world by some seismologists.

Its operator, Chubu Electric, is determined to reopen the plant as soon as its workers have finished building a six-ft.-thick anti-tsunami wall that will stand 54 feet above sea level and stretch a mile; the manmade hills now being constructed are a first step in the yearlong project.

But many local residents are not so sure.

“I was always a little worried before last March,” says Fumio Takahashi, a real estate agent who lives in the town of Omaezaki, hard by the Hamaoka plant. “Now I realize that it is dangerous to have a nuclear plant near your home. I absolutely do not want it to reopen.”

Hamaoka is particularly dangerous, explains Yoshika Shiratori, because it is built on a seismic fault line where Japanese government experts have estimated that there is an 87 percent chance of a magnitude 8 earthquake within the next 30 years.

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