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Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashiwazaki-Kariwa_Nuclear_Power_Plant
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant
Aerial view. The breakwaters where seawater is taken from in order to cool waste heat water, can be seen clearly.
Location of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant
Country Japan
Coordinates 37°25.7′N 138°36.1′E / 37.4283°N 138.6017°E / 37.4283; 138.6017Coordinates: 37°25.7′N 138°36.1′E / 37.4283°N 138.6017°E / 37.4283; 138.6017
Status Out of service
Construction began June 5, 1980 (1980-06-05)
Commission date September 18, 1985 (1985-09-18)
Operator(s) Tokyo Electric Power Company
Nuclear power station
Cooling source Sea of Japan
Cooling towers no
Power generation
Units operational 5 × 1,067 MW
2 × 1,315 MW
Nameplate capacity 7,965 MW
Capacity factor 0%
2013–2016 output 0 GW·h

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (柏崎刈羽原子力発電所, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa genshiryoku-hatsudensho, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP) is a large, modern (housing the world's first ABWR) nuclear power plant on a 4.2-square-kilometer (1,038 acres) site[1] including land in the towns of Kashiwazaki and Kariwa in Niigata Prefecture, Japan on the coast of the Sea of Japan, from where it gets cooling water. The plant is owned and operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

It was the largest nuclear generating station in the world by net electrical power rating.

It was approximately 19 km (12 mi) from the epicenter of the second strongest earthquake to ever occur at a nuclear plant, the Mw 6.6 July 2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake. This shook the plant beyond design basis and initiated an extended shutdown for inspection, which indicated that greater earthquake-proofing was needed before operation could be resumed. The plant was completely shut down for 21 months following the earthquake. Unit 7 was restarted after seismic upgrades on May 9, 2009, followed later by units 1, 5, and 6. (Units 2, 3, 4 were not restarted).

After the March 11, 2011 earthquake, all restarted units were shut down and safety improvements are being carried out. As of October 2017, no units have been restarted, and the earliest proposed restart date is in April of 2019 (for reactors 6 and 7). [2] [3] [4]

Reactors

There are seven units, which are all lined up along the coast line. Numbering starts at Unit 1 with the south-most unit through Unit 4, then there is a large green space in between Unit 4 and 7, then it continues with Units 6 and 5, the newest of the reactors.[5]

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, a nuclear plant with seven units, the largest single nuclear power station in the world, was completely shut down for 21 months following an earthquake in 2007.[6]
Reactor attributes
KK – 1 KK – 2 KK – 3 KK – 4 KK – 5 KK – 6 KK – 7
Reactor Type BWR BWR BWR BWR BWR ABWR ABWR
Net Power (MW) 1,067 1,067 1,067 1,067 1,067 1,315 1,315
Gross Power (MW) 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,356 1,356
Start of Construction 6/5/1980 11/18/1985 3/7/1989 3/5/1990 6/20/1985 11/3/1992 7/1/1993
First Criticality 12/12/1984 11/30/1989 10/19/1992 11/01/1993 7/20/1989 12/18/1995 11/01/1996
Commission date 9/18/1985 9/28/1990 8/11/1993 8/11/1994 4/10/1990 11/7/1996 7/2/1997
Installation Costs
(1,000 yen/kW)
330 360 310 310 420 310 280[7]
Reactor/NSSS Supplier Toshiba Toshiba Toshiba Hitachi Hitachi Hitachi/
Toshiba/GE
Hitachi/
Toshiba/GE

The power installation costs for units at this site well reflect the general trend in costs of nuclear plants. Capital costs increased through the 1980s but have become cheaper in modern times. The last two units were the first Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) ever built.

Performance

Such a large plant size has several economic advantages, one of these being the limited impact of refueling outages of individual units on the plant's total net power production. A smooth transition was seen in the power production history of the plant up through the time the last two units were built. Unfortunately, since completion of construction, the plant has seen two events that caused the entire plant to be shut down.

This graph show frequent changes in performance year to year due to routine outages, but for the entire plant remained almost continuous until the plant-wide events of the 2000s

Partial shutdowns

In February 1991, unit 2 was automatically shut down following a sudden drop in oil pressure inside the steam turbine.[8]

On 18 July 1997, radioactive steam leaked from a gauge within unit 7 of the Kashiwazaki kariwa plant. In May a burst tube had delayed trial runs at the plant, and earlier in July smoke had been found coming from plant machinery.[9]

In January 1998, unit 1 was shut down after increasing radiation levels in the steam driving the turbine triggered alarms. The levels were reportedly 270 times the expected operating level.[10]

The reactors at the KK plant were shut down one by one after the discovery of deliberate falsification of data. The first one was taken offline September 9, 2002, and the last one was taken offline January 27, 2003.[11] The newest units, the more inherently safe ABWRs, were taken back online the quickest and suffered the smallest effect. Units  1, 2, and 3 on the other hand, generated no electricity during the fiscal year of 2003.

Fuel

All reactors continue to use low-enriched uranium as the nuclear fuel; however, there have been plans drafted by TEPCO to use MOX fuel in some of the reactors by the permission of the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC). A public referendum in the Kariwa village in 2001 voted 53% against use of the new fuel. After the 2002 TEPCO data fabrication scandals, the president at the time, Nobuya Minami, announced that plans to use the MOX fuel at the KK plant would be suspended indefinitely.

Earthquakes

Earthquake resistant design features

Sand at the sites was removed and the reactor was built on firm ground. Adjacent soil was backfilled. Basements of the reactor buildings extend several levels down (maximum of 42 m below grade).[12] These underground elements stabilize the reactor buildings, making them less likely to suffer sway due to resonance vibrations during an earthquake. As with other Japanese power plants, reactors at the plant were built according to earthquake-resistance standards, which are regulated by law and the JAEC.

In 2006 safety standards for earthquake resistance in Japan's nuclear plants were modified and tightened. After the 2007 earthquake suspicions arose that another fault line may be closer to the plant than originally thought, possibly running straight through the site.

2004 Chūetsu earthquake

In the 2004 Chūetsu earthquake on November 4, 2004, devices around the base of the plant only measured 4 on the Japanese seismological intensity scale while other nearby places measured 6.

All of the reactors except for Unit 4 were operating normally at the time of the earthquake and continued to do so through the quake, Unit 4 was shut down due to routine maintenance. Unit 7 shut down during an aftershock because the turbine thrust bearing wear trip signal was activated.

2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake

The offshore fault lines near the plant. Some faults were discovered through research after the major earthquake while some were known before.

The KK plant was 19 kilometers away from the epicenter of the magnitude 6.6 2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake, which took place 10:13 a.m., July 16, 2007. Shaking of 6.8 m/s² (0.69 g) was recorded in Unit 1 in the east-west direction, above the design specification for safe shutdown of 4.5 m/s², and well above the rapid restart specification for key equipment in the plant of 2.73 m/s².[13] Units 5 and 6 also recorded shaking over this limit.[14] Shaking of 20.58 m/s² was recorded in the turbine building of Unit 3.[15]

Those nearby saw black smoke which was later confirmed to be an electric transformer that had caught fire at Unit 3.[16][17] The fire was put out by noon on the day of the quake, about 2 hours after it started. The 3-story transformer building was extensively charred.[18]

Reactor units 3, 4, and 7 all automatically powered down safely in response to the quake. Unit 2 was in startup mode and not online.[12] Units 1, 5, and 6 were already shut down for inspection at the time. TEPCO was ready to restart some of the units as of the next day, but the trade ministry ordered the plant to remain idle until additional safety checks could be completed. On Wednesday, July 18, the mayor of Kashiwazaki ordered operations at the plant to be halted until its safety could be confirmed.[19] The Nikkei reported that government safety checks could delay the restart for over a year, without stating the source of the information.[20] For comparison, in 2005, a reactor at the Onagawa NPP was closed for five months following an earthquake.[20]

IAEA inspections[edit]

The International Atomic Energy Agency offered to inspect the plant, which was initially declined. The governor of Niigata prefecture then sent a petition to Shinzo Abe. On Sunday, July 22, 2007, the NISA announced that it would allow inspectors from the United Nations to review the damage.[21]

A team from the IAEA carried out a four-day inspection, as investigations by Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) continued.[22] The team of the IAEA confirmed that the plant had "shut down safely" and that "damage appears less than expected."[23] On August 19, the IAEA reported that, for safety-related and nuclear components, "no visible significant damage has been found" although "nonsafety related structures, systems and components were affected by significant damage".[24]

The official report issued by the IAEA stated that the plant "behaved in a safe manner" after a 4-day inspection. Other observations were:

  • "Safety related structures, systems and components of the plant seem to be in a general condition, much better than might be expected for such a strong earthquake, and there is no visible significant damage"
  • Conservatisms introduced in the construction of the plant compensated for the magnitude of the earthquake being so much greater than planned for.

Recommendations included:

  • A re-evaluation of the seismic safety.
  • Detailed geophysical investigations[25]

External inspections of the plant were planned to be completed by the end of July 2008. The schedule was confirmed on 10 July 2008 by the site superintendent, Akio Takahashi. On July 15, Akira Amari said his ministry was also continuing their own tests. An IAEA workshop in June 2008 recognized that the earthquake exceeded the "seismic input" used in the design in that plant, and that regulations played a critical role in keeping the plant safe.[26] However, TEPCO determined that significant upgrades were required to cope with the improved understanding of the seismic environment and possible shaking effects at the plant site.

The IAEA sent a team for a follow-up visit in January 2008. They concluded that much high-quality inspection work had been undertaken and noted the likely improvements to nuclear seismic design worldwide that may result from this process.[27] An additional visit from an IAEA team of 10 experts occurred in December 2008, noting that the "unexpectedly large ground motions" were now well understood and could be protected against, and further confirming the safe performance of the plant during the quake.[28][29]

Radioactivity releases[edit]

Initially, it was thought that some water (estimated to be about 1.5 L) from the spent fuel pool leaked into the Sea of Japan as a result of the quake.[30][31] Later, more detailed reports confirmed a number of releases, though most of them were far less active than common natural radiation sources. According to the NISA, this was the first time a release of radioactive material happened as a result of an earthquake.

  • 0.6 litres of slightly radioactive water leaked from the third floor of the Unit 6 reactor building, which contained 280 becquerels of radioactivity. (For reference, a household smoke detector typically contains 37,000 becquerels (1.0 µCi) of radioactivity,[32] and a living adult human typically has around 8000 Bq of naturally occurring radioactivity inside his or her body.)
  • 0.9 litres of slightly radioactive water leaked from the inner third floor of the Unit 6 reactor building, containing 16,000 Bq of radioactivity.
  • From unit 6, 1.3 cubic meters of water from the spent fuel pool leaked from the pool, and flowed into through a drainage pipe, ultimately into the Sea of Japan. The water contained 80 Bq/L, totaling 90,000 Bq in the release.[33] For comparison, an Onsen located in Misasa, Tottori, Japan uses water with a large concentration of radon, which gives it a radioactivity of 9300 Bq/L. The leaked water from the plant did not pose a health risk even before being diluted. Towels were used to mop up the water.[34]
  • On Wednesday, 18 July 2007, at Unit 7, radioactive iodine was found leaking from an exhaust pipe by a government inspector, the leak began between Tuesday and Wednesday and was confirmed to have stopped by Thursday night. The amount of iodine released was estimated at 12 million Bq and the total amount of particulate radioactivity released into the air was about 402,000,000 Bq.[35] This was said to have been one 10 millionth of the legal limit.[36] It is estimated that this caused an unintentional dose of 0.0002 nanosieverts (nSv), per person distributed among around 10 million people. The limit for dose to the public from the operations of a nuclear plant in Japan in one year is 1100 nSv, and, for comparison, natural background radiation worldwide for humans is on average around 2,400,000 nSv/year (2.4 mSv/year). In regards to the cause, Yasuhisa Shiozaki said "This is an error of not implementing the manual," because the vent should have been closed.[37]

Other problems[edit]

A diagram on TEPCO's website [2] that shows the location and (usually) readings from the radiation detectors and an anemometer. In this image, from hours after the earthquake, all detectors show an error message.

About 400 drums containing low-level nuclear waste stored at the plant were knocked over by the aftershocks, 40 losing their lids.[38] Company officials reported on July 17 that traces of the radioactive materials cobalt-60, iodine, and chromium-51 had been released into the atmosphere, presumably from the containers losing their lids.

Criticisms of the company's response to the event included the time it took the company to report events and the certainty with which they were able to locate the source of various problems. TEPCO's president made a comment the site was a "mess"[39] after visiting post-quake. While the reported amount of leaked radioactivity remained far below what poses a danger to the public, details changed multiple times in the few days after the quake and attracted significant media attention. After the quake, TEPCO was supposedly investigating 50 separate cases of "malfunctioning and trouble,"[40] a number that was changed to 63 cases later.[41] Even the radioactivity sensors around the site encountered trouble, the reading from these devices are normally available online, giving the public a direct measure of ambient radioactivity around the site, but due to damage sustained during the earthquake, stopped reporting on the website. The company published an apology on that page, and data from the devices covering the off-line period was released later, showing no artificial abnormalities (note that the readings naturally fluctuate depending on whether it's raining or snowing and a host of other factors).[42]

TEPCO's president maintained that fears of a leak of radioactive material were unfounded (since the amount leaked into the ocean was a billionth of the legal limit), but many international reporters expressed distrust of the company that has a history of cover-up controversies. The IAEA's Mohamed ElBaradei encouraged full transparency throughout the investigation of the accident so that lessons learned could be applied to nuclear plants elsewhere.[39]

Impact[edit]

News of the earthquake, combined with the fact that replacement power sources (such as oil and gas) are at record highs, caused TEPCOs stock to plummet 7.5%, the largest drop in seven years, which amounted to around 4.4 billion USD lost in stock capitalization.[43] This made the event even more costly to the company than the 2002 data falsification scandal. Additionally, TEPCO warned that the plant closure could cause a power shortage during the summer months.[40] Trade minister Akira Amari requested that business users cut electricity use,[44] and in August TEPCO was forced to reduce electricity supplies for industrial uses, the first time it had to resort to such measures in 17 years.[45]

Reports of the leak caused thousands of cancellations at resorts and hotels along the Sea of Japan coast, even as far as Murakami, Niigata (140 km northeast) and Sado Island. Inn owners have said that rumors have been more damaging than direct effects of the earthquake.[46]

The shutdown forced TEPCO to run natural gas plants in place of this plant, not only increasing Japan's demand for the fuel and increasing the price internationally, but also increasing carbon dioxide output such that Japan will have difficulty meeting the Kyoto Protocol.

Restart[edit]

After 16 months of comprehensive component-based assessment and upgrades on all seven reactors, this phase of post-earthquake response was almost complete, with reactor 7 fully upgraded to cope with the seismic environment. On 8 November 2008, fuel loading in reactor unit 7 started, preparatory to a period of system safety tests on that reactor.[47] On 19 February 2009 TEPCO applied to the local governance to restart unit 7 after having obtained approval from the national government and regulators.[48] Local government agreement for restart was granted in May[49] and electrical grid power was supplied from Unit 7 at 20% power on 19 May.[50] The reactor was raised to 100% power on 5 June 2009 as part of a series of restart tests.[51]

Unit 6 restarted on 26 August 2009[52] and reconnected to the grid on 31 August.[53]

Unit 1 restarted on 31 May 2010[54] after loading with fuel (along with Unit 5) earlier in the year, and was generating grid power by 6 June 2010.[55]

Unit 5 recommenced grid generation on 26 November 2010, in the same week that fuel loading for unit 3 started.[56]

2011 Tōhoku earthquake

The plant was not affected by the 11 March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Subsequently, reactors were shut down for scheduled inspections (see Events below) and local governors and courts would not allow them to be restarted.

Facility improvements after Fukushima I nuclear accidents

After Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, TEPCO announced on 21 April 2011, the plan to build up the seawall, to a height of 15 m (49.2 ft) above sea level, more than 800 m (2,624 ft) in length for units 1- 4, and more than 500 m (1,640 ft) for unit 5–7 by June 2013, which has been assumed 3.3 m height of tsunami. Also, plans have been made to rebuild the storage pool for radioactive water overflow by September 2012.[57]

2011–2012: survey on tsunamis in the past

On 10 November 2011, TEPCO announced a survey for signs of past tsunamis in this area. With drills, soil samples were to be taken of sediment layers dating from the year 1600 back to 7000 years ago, at nine locations around the plant at the coast of central Japan. This survey, the first that TEPCO ever conducted on this subject, did start on 15 November 2011, and was planned to be completed in April 2012, and was done to examine the possibility of higher tsunamis than had been expected at the time the plant was designed and built.[58]

On 26 April 2012, TEPCO said that it would recalculate the risks of earthquakes and tsunamis. This was done after reports, as published by four prefectures around the nuclear Plant, re-estimated the risks of potential earthquakes in the region:

The calculated earthquake magnitudes are almost three times stronger than all the calculations done by TEPCO regarding the safety assessments for the plant. These were based on a magnitude 7.85 quake caused by a 131 kilometer long fault near Sado Island in Niigata and a 3.3 meter-high tsunami. To endure this, an embankment was under construction to resist tsunami waves up to 15 meters high. The recalculation could have consequences for the stress tests and safety assessments for the plant.[59]

After the planned revision of the safety standards in July 2013, some faults under the reactors were considered as geologically active. This was found by a Japanese newsagency Kyodo News on 23 January 2013 in papers and other material published by TEPCO. Under the new regulations, geologic faults would be considered to be active if they had moved within the last 400 000 years, instead of the less stringent standard of 120 000 years, as was formerly accepted. Two faults, named "Alpha" and "Beta," are present under Reactors 1 and 2. Other faults are situated under Reactor 3 and Reactor 5, as well as underneath the building of Reactor 4. Under the new regulations, the beta-fault could be classified as active because it moved a ground layer including volcanic ash around 240 000 years ago. The final outcome of the study might trigger a second survey by the newly installed Japanese regulator NRA. In January 2013, studies were conducted or planned on geological faults around six Japanese reactor sites. The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant would be number 7.[60]

See also

References

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  2. ^ "Tepco may ask U.S. utility to inspect Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant". 30 October 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2017 – via Japan Times Online. 
  3. ^ Reuters: Tepco shares slump after anti-nuclear novice wins Japan election, accessdate: December 4, 2016
  4. ^ "Tepco contemplates 2019 restart for giant Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant". The Japan Times. April 22, 2017. Retrieved October 16, 2017. 
  5. ^ Monitoring>
  6. ^ The European Parliament's Greens-EFA Group – The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2007 Archived 2008-06-25 at the Wayback Machine. p. 23.
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  8. ^ "Nuclear woes - automatic shutdown at Kashiwazaki nuclear power plant, Japan 1991 - on Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  9. ^ "Kashiwazaki nuclear power plant malfunctions and emissions, Japan 1997 - on Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  10. ^ "Kashiwazaki nuclear power plant shutdown after unusual radiation spike, Japan 1998 - on Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
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  12. ^ a b Alex K. Tang, PE and Anshel J. Schiff, ed. (2007). Kashiwazaki, Japan Earthquake of July 16, 2007: Lifeline Performance. Reston, VA: ASCE, Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering. ISBN 9780784410622. 
  13. ^ "Profits shaken at TEPCO". World Nuclear News. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
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  15. ^ "Quake-hit Japanese nuclear plant may have experienced strongest shaking on record in world". International Herald Tribune. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  16. ^ ABC News. Strong Quake Rocks Northwestern Japan. July 16, 2007.
  17. ^ Xinhua News. Two die, over 200 injured in strong quake in Japan. July 16, 2007.
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  20. ^ a b TEPCO shares dive on risk of lengthy shutdown, Reuters, published 2007-07-19, accessed 2007-07-19
  21. ^ Reuters. Japan accepts IAEA inspectors after quake troubles. July 22, 2007. accessed July 22, 2007.
  22. ^ IAEA Team to Visit Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, IAEA, published 2007-08-03, accessed 2007-08-06
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  26. ^ NucNet. Inspections Draw To Close At Quake-Hit Japan Plant. July 22, 2008.
  27. ^ "Follow-up IAEA Report on Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant Published". 26 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2017. 
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  29. ^ IAEA Completes Third Mission to Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant
  30. ^ The Washington Post. Earthquake Spills Water At Japanese Nuclear Plant. July 17, 2007.
  31. ^ BBC News. Nuclear scare after Japan quake. July 16, 2007.
  32. ^ Howstuffworks.com. How smoke detectors work
  33. ^ "柏崎刈羽原子力発電所6号機の放射性物質の漏えいについて|TEPCOニュース|東京電力". Retrieved 7 February 2017. 
  34. ^ Asahi. Towels used to mop up nuke spill. July 26.
  35. ^ 平成 19 年新潟県中越沖地震における東京電力(株)柏崎刈羽原子力発電所 7 号機の主排気筒からのヨウ素等の検出について (第 3 報) (A press release published by Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, METI), July 20, 2007, in Japanese Archived August 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
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  40. ^ a b International Herald Tribune. Leak at Japan nuke plant blamed on failure to follow operating manual
  41. ^ FOXNews.com http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,290158,00.html
  42. ^ The detector data from the onset of the earthquake through the next day: [1]
  43. ^ Bloomberg News. Tokyo Electric Shares Drop Most in 7 Years on Quake (Update1). July 19, 2007.
  44. ^ The Independent. Fear and fury in shadow of Japan's damaged nuclear giant. July 21, 2007. accessed July 21, 2007.
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  46. ^ Yomiuri. Tourism in Niigata on ropes / N-plant leaks keep droves of visitors away in summer season. July 25.
  47. ^ Fuel loading starts at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactor 11 Nov 2008
  48. ^ TEPCO to seek local govts' OK to restart nuke plant 23 Feb 2009
  49. ^ TEPCO press release on Approval of Restarting Unit No. 7 8 May 2009
  50. ^ TEPCO press release on Starting generation 19 May 2009
  51. ^ TEPCO press release on 100% power levels 5 Jun 2009
  52. ^ TEPCO press release on Unit 6 restart 26 Aug 2009
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  54. ^ Kashiwazaki Kariwa 1 restarting, World Nuclear News, 2 June 2010
  55. ^ 10 Jun 2010 Status of restoration works, TEPCO press release
  56. ^ 2 Dec 2010 Status of restoration works, TEPCO press release
  57. ^ Yomiuri Shimbun, 21 April 2011, ver.13S page 37, and 柏崎刈羽原発に防潮堤設置へ「15メートルの津波に対応」 [To build seawall to withstand a 15 m tsunami in Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant]. Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  58. ^ The Mainichi Daily News (11 November 2011) TEPCO to conduct drill survey at Niigata plant for evidence of tsunami
  59. ^ The Mainichi Shimbun (27 April 2012) TEPCO to recalculate potential tsunami height near Niigata nuke plant
  60. ^ The Mainichi Shimbun (24 January 2013) Quake faults at TEPCO's Niigata nuclear power plant may be active

External links

Niigata Chuetsu Offshore earthquake related
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