Nuclear Regulatory Authority's Deputy Chairman and seismologist Kunihiko Shimazaki is leading a team of experts to determine whether the 8 faults that run directly beneath the trouble-prone fast-breeder Monju in Fukui Prefecture are active faults.
Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) "operates" the fast-breeder reactor which is supposed to be the centerpiece of Japan's fuel cycle policy. In its 22-year history since the test run in 1991, Monju has managed to generate one hour worth of electricity.
The Abe administration insists the fuel cycle policy will continue.
JAEA is a government corporation under the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry - i.e. a landing pad for the top bureaucrats with golden parachutes.
NRA's Dr. Shimazaki has not been political so far, and has practically said about another nuclear power plant in Fukui (Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant) that the operator doesn't want to see active faults, therefore does not see the active faults which are apparent to him and his team of experts in two-day investigation.
I suspect it's the same thing at Monju.
From Asahi Shinbun (7/17/2013):
NRA starts field survey of faults at Monju
To determine whether there are active faults at Fast-breeder Monju (Fukui Prefecture) operated by Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Authority started the field investigation on July 17. If the faults are determined to be active, it is likely that Monju will be decommissioned, and the national government will be pressed to revise its fuel cycle policy.
4 members of the expert group including NRA's Deputy Chairman Kunihiko Shimazaki arrived in Fukui in the morning of July 17. They first investigated the location in Minaha-cho in Fukui where the known active fault, "Shiraki-Nyu Fault", which runs 500 meters west of Monju, is exposed. The group will determine whether the faults inside the Monju compound are active, after the two-day survey.
There are nine faults inside the compound, with 8 of them known to be directly beneath the reactor facilities. Experts have pointed out the danger of these faults moving if the Shiraki-Nyu Fault becomes active. In the survey, the longest fault "a-fault" will be the focus. JAEA insists that it is not an active fault, saying there is no evidence that it repeatedly moved in recent years.
By "recent years", JAEA means in the last 100,000 years or so. NRA has made it clear in its new "regulatory standards" that it will consider the last 400,000 years.
Location of the Shiraki-Nyu Fault and Monju, from Asahi Shinbun:
The Shiraki-Nyu Fault in Mihama-cho:
Even without any active fault, Monju should not be operating, for the simple reason that should the road (Route 141) become inaccessible, Monju would be utterly inaccessible except from the sea. Even the ocean access would be problematic after a big earthquake and tsunami:
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