Hamaoka nuclear plant to get higher seawall
Chubu Electric Power Co said Thursday that it will increase the height of a seawall currently being built around its Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture from 16 meters to 22 meters.
Chubu Electric is constructing a 1.6-kilometer-long seawall around the plant which is scheduled to be completed in December 2013.
The Hamaoka plant, which is said to be above a major faultline, is just 100 meters away from the Pacific Ocean and sits in the Tokai region, southwest of Tokyo, where seismologists have long warned that a major quake is overdue because two major continental plates meet here.
Chubu Electric said it is also working on other measures to prevent flooding inside the plant, and programs to safeguard cooling systems that bring reactors to safe shutdown in case of severe accidents.
However, the future of the Hamaoka plant is still up in the air. In October, a citizens’ group in Shizuoka Prefecture collected enough signatures to call for a referendum on the restart of the plant. The group, calling itself Genpatsu Kenmin Tohyo Shizuoka (A vote on nuclear power by Shizuoka people), collected 165,127 signatures. A decision on the referendum is yet to be made by the government.