Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Japan wants 3 reactors closed while seawall built

 A couple stands in a port watching salvage operation in  Kesennuma,  Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies ar...
 This Feb. 2011 aerial photo shows Hamaoka nuclear power plant of Chubu Electric Power Co., in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka prefecture, central Japan.  Pri...
 Emperor Akihito kneels down as he speaks with a woman during his visit to a refugee center in Kamaishi, a city severely damaged by the March 11 earth...
 Empress Michiko, left,  speaks to one of women while taking hands of another during her and Emperor Akihito's visit to a refugee center in Kamaishi, ...
 A salvage worker walks in rubble at a fishing port in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies are in...
 A worker pulls up a hose at a salvage operation in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies are in to...
 A man pushes his bicycle in a road in which a big boat was washed ashore in Kesennuma,  Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. S...
 A worker watches others setting up to drain oil from a fishing boat in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage...
 This Feb. 2011 aerial photo shows Hamaoka nuclear power plant of Chubu Electric Power Co., in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka prefecture, central Japan.  Pri...
 A salvage company worker walks by a burnt fishing boat in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies ar...
 Workers set up hose nozzle to drain oil in Kesennuma,  Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies are in town to d...
 Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan speaks during a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo Friday, May 6, 2011. Kan said that his governmen...
 Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan speaks during a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo Friday, May 6, 2011. Kan said that his governmen...
 A man walks by a burnt fishing boat in Kesennuma,  Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies are in town to drain...

Japan Earthquake

A couple stands in a port watching salvage operation in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies ar...

Japan Earthquake

This Feb. 2011 aerial photo shows Hamaoka nuclear power plant of Chubu Electric Power Co., in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka prefecture, central Japan. Pri...

Japan Earthquake

Emperor Akihito kneels down as he speaks with a woman during his visit to a refugee center in Kamaishi, a city severely damaged by the March 11 earth...

Japan Earthquake

Empress Michiko, left, speaks to one of women while taking hands of another during her and Emperor Akihito's visit to a refugee center in Kamaishi, ...

Japan Earthquake

A salvage worker walks in rubble at a fishing port in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies are in...

Japan Earthquake

A worker pulls up a hose at a salvage operation in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies are in to...

Japan Earthquake

A man pushes his bicycle in a road in which a big boat was washed ashore in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. S...

Japan Earthquake

A worker watches others setting up to drain oil from a fishing boat in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage...

Japan Earthquake

This Feb. 2011 aerial photo shows Hamaoka nuclear power plant of Chubu Electric Power Co., in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka prefecture, central Japan. Pri...

Japan Earthquake

A salvage company worker walks by a burnt fishing boat in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies ar...

Japan Earthquake

Workers set up hose nozzle to drain oil in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies are in town to d...

Japan Earthquake

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan speaks during a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo Friday, May 6, 2011. Kan said that his governmen...

Japan Earthquake

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan speaks during a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo Friday, May 6, 2011. Kan said that his governmen...

APTOPIX Japan Earthquake

A man walks by a burnt fishing boat in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, May 6, 2011. Salvage companies are in town to drain...

Japan urged a power company Friday to suspend all three reactors at a coastal nuclear plant while a seawall and other structures are built to ensure a major earthquake or tsunami does not cause a second radiation crisis.
The move came as the government is conducting a safety review of all Japan's 54 nuclear plants after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left more than 25,000 people dead and missing on the northeast coast.
The Hamaoka nuclear plant just 110 yards (100 meters) off the Pacific coast in central Japan is the only one so far where the government has asked that operations be halted until the utility can implement safety measures.
Chubu Electric Power Co. said in a statement it will "swiftly consider" the government's request. The statement gave no further details. Government officials estimate the work could last two years.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a news conference Friday evening he requested the shutdown for safety reasons, citing experts' forecast of a 90 percent probability of a quake with magnitude of 8.0 or higher striking central Japan within 30 years.
"It was a decision made after thoroughly considering people's safety," Kan told a news conference.
The government asked Chubu Electric to suspend two running reactors and a third already shut for a regular inspection at the plant in Shizuoka, 155 miles (250 kilometers) west of Tokyo.
"If an accident occurs at Hamaoka, it could create serious consequences," Kan said.
Since the March 11 disasters, Chubu Electric has drawn up safety measures that include building a seawall nearly a mile (1.5 kilometers) long over the next two to three years.
"The height of the seawall is at least 12 meters. We have come up with this safety measure after the March quake and tsunami," said Takanobu Yamada, an official at Chubu Electric.
The company also planned to erect concrete walls along 18 water pumps at the plant. Yamada said the walls aimed to protect the pumps from damage from an earthquake and tsunami, and it will take a year or one and a half years to complete the construction.
The plant does not have a concrete sea barrier now, but sandhills between the ocean and the plant are about 32 to 50 feet (10 to 15 meters) high, according to the company.
The seawall of at least 40 feet (12 meters) would be built between the sandhills and nuclear plant over the next two to three years. Yamada said Chubu Electric has estimated a tsunami reaching around 26 feet (8 meters).
Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said the utility company should halt operating its nuclear reactors while implementing such safety measures. He argued Chubu's safety measures were "not enough" without elaborating further.
"Until the company completes safety steps, it is inevitable that it should stop operating nuclear reactors," Kaieda said.
Shizuoka governor Heita Kawakatsu called the government's move "a wise decision."
"I pay my respect for the decision. We must do our utmost to secure alternative sources of energy," the governor said in a statement.
The plant serves around 16 million people in central Japan. Faced with a possible power crunch due to the shutdown, the prime minister sought public understanding.
"We will experience some power crunch for sure. But we can overcome this with public support and understanding," Kan said.
The region powered by the plant includes Aichi, where Toyota Motor Corp.'s headquarters and an auto plant are located. Automakers and other industries have had troubles with supply lines, parts shortages and damage to plants in the region since the March 11 disaster.
The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant lost its power and cooling systems in the earthquake and tsunami, triggering fires, explosions and radiation leaks in the world's second-worst nuclear accident.
Radiation leaks have forced 80,000 people living within a 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius of the plant to leave their homes. Many are staying in gymnasiums and community centers.
Residents in Shizuoka have long demanded suspension of the Hamaoka reactors.
___
Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-10-17 10:56 GMT+08:00