Chubu Electric, earthquake, Fukushima, Genpatsu-Shinsai, Hamaoka, Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant, Japan, Katsuhiko Ishibashi, Kiyoo Mogi, nuclear power plant, Nuclear Reactor Safety, Omaezaki City, Prime Minister Kan, Shizuoka Prefecture, subduction zone, Tokai earthquake
On the 4th of May, UTC and the 5th of May in Japan, a Magnitude 6 Earthquake rattled Tokyo and caused injuries. The earthquake was located equidistant between Tokyo and what has been called “the most dangerous nuclear power plant in Japan, ” the Hama’oka Nuclear Power Plant.
Magnitude 6 earthquake, 4th of May 2014(UTC), in relation to the Hama’oka Japan Nuclear Power Plant and Tokyo, based on the original USGS maps
“The Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant (浜岡原子力発電所 Hamaoka Genshiryoku Hatsudensho, Hamaoka NPP) is a nuclear power plant located in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Japan’s east coast, 200 km south-west of Tokyo. It is managed by the Chubu Electric Power Company. There are five units contained at a single site with a net area of 1.6 km2 (395 acres). A sixth unit began construction on December 22, 2008. On January 30, 2009, Hamaoka-1 and Hamaoka-2 were permanently shut down.
Hamaoka NPP. Photo by E-190 via wikimedia commons.
On 6 May 2011, Prime Minister Naoto Kan requested the plant be shut down as an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or higher is estimated 87% likely to hit the area within the next 30 years. Kan wanted to avoid a possible repeat of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. On 9 May 2011, Chubu Electric decided to comply with the government request. In July 2011, a mayor in Shizuoka Prefecture and a group of residents filed a lawsuit seeking the decommissioning of the reactors at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant permanently 
Hamaoka is built directly over the subduction zone near the junction of two tectonic plates, and a major Tokai earthquake is said to be overdue.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamaoka_Nuclear_Power_Plant (Emphasis added; References at bottom of post and at link)
“The possibility of such a shallow magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the Tokai region was pointed out by Kiyoo Mogi in 1969, 7 months before permission to construct the Hamaoka plant was sought, and by the Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction (CCEP) in 1970, prior to the permission being granted on December 10, 1970. As a consequence, Professor Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a former member of a government panel on nuclear reactor safety, claimed in 2004 that Hamaoka was ‘considered to be the most dangerous nuclear power plant in Japan' with the potential to create a genpatsu-shinsai (domino-effect nuclear power plant earthquake disaster).”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamaoka_Nuclear_Power_Plant (References at bottom and at link).
“Genpatsu-shinsai (原発震災?), meaning nuclear power plant earthquake disaster (from the two words Genpatsu – nuclear power plant – and Shinsai – earthquake disaster) is a term which was coined by Japanese seismologist Professor Katsuhiko Ishibashi in 1997. It describes a domino effect scenario in which a major earthquake causes a severe accident at a nuclear power plant near a major population centre, resulting in an uncontrollable release of radiation in which the radiation levels make damage control and rescue impossible, and earthquake damage severely impedes the evacuation of the population. Ishibashi envisages that such an event would have a global impact and a ‘fatal’ effect on Japan, seriously affecting future generations.
In Japan, Ishibashi believes that a number of nuclear power stations could be involved in such a scenario, but that the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant, located near the centre of the expected Tokai earthquakes, is the most likely candidate. He is also concerned that a similar scenario could take place elsewhere in the world. As a result he believes that the matter should be a global concern.” (Emphasis added; References at Link and Below) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genpatsu-shinsai Full text of references is found here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/earthquakes-nuclear-disaster-and-global-impacts-will-we-continue-to-ignore-the-warning-from-2003/
“The most dangerous nuclear power station is Hama’oka located just above the hypothesized huge fault plane of the impending M8-class Tokai earthquake on the Pacific coast of central Japan…
The authorities concerned claim that the aseismic measures of Japanese nuclear power plants are perfect and all plants and related atomic facilities are safe against any kind of earthquake. But, construction of nuclear power plants in Japan was started around the early 1960’s, just on the eve of the birth and spread of two basic theory of modern earthquake science, fault model of earthquakes and plate tectonics. Therefore, the official standards of aseismic design of nuclear facilities are oldish and insufficient in view of modern earthquake sciences. Not only Hama’oka but also most other nuclear power stations in Japan seem accident-prone due to large earthquakes, because many are located in seismic gaps with clear active faults or just above subducted oceanic plates where large slab earthquakes may occur. These kinds of scientific matters were not taken into account during planning and construction of plants.”
In 2007, following the 2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake, Dr Mogi, by then chair of Japan’s Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction, called for the immediate closure of the plant.
On 6 May 2011, Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan asked Chubu Electric Power Company, which operates the Hamaoka plant, to halt reactors No. 4 and No. 5, and not to restart reactor No. 3 which was then offline for regular inspection. Kan said that a science ministry panel on earthquake research has projected an 87% possibility of a magnitude-8-class earthquake hitting the region within 30 years. He said that considering the unique location of the Hamaoka plant, the operator must draw up and implement mid-to-long-term plans to ensure the reactors can withstand the projected Tokai Earthquake and any triggered tsunami. Kan also said that until such plans are implemented, all the reactors should remain out of operation. Chubu Electric has decided to comply with the government request on 9 May 2011. The Yomiuri Shinbun, one of Japan’s largest newspapers, criticized Kan and his request, calling it “abrupt” and noting the difficulty towards Chubu Electric’s shareholders and further stated Kan “should seriously reflect on the way he made his request.” Yomiuri followed up with an article that wondered how dangerous Hamaoka really was and claimed the request was “a political judgment that went beyond technological worthiness.”  The next day damage to the pipes inside the condenser were discovered following a leak of seawater into the reactor.
The plant has been designed to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8.5. Sand hills of up to 15 metres (49 ft) height provide defence against a tsunami of up to 8 metres (26 ft) high, but Hamaoka currently lacks a concrete sea barrier.
On 22 July 2011 plans were unfolded to build an 18-meter-high embankment by December 2012 to prevent tsunami damage to the facility. This would protect the reactors against waves higher than the waves that occurred in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March 2011. The barrier would also be 10 meters taller than the highest waves expected in the area in the event of 3 major earthquakes occurring at the same time. Plans were studied to build a new embankment 1.5 kilometers along the coast by the plant. Next to this a waterproof building was planned to house a backup-pump and also the wall around the reactors was extended. Overall costs of the plans: 1.3 billion dollars.”
“Unit 1 HPCI Rupture
On November 7, 2001, a valve in the HPCI system of Unit 1 ruptured during a Periodical-manual-startup-test. Since this is considered a part of the ECCS, the implications reach further than the event itself, and drew into question the reliability of the emergency safety system. Unit 2 was also shut down for the purpose of investigating similar structures.
Unit 5 Steam Turbine Problems
Too recent to cover the entire relevant time frame in the data above, on June 15, 2006 Unit 5 was shut down due to excessive turbine vibrations. It was discovered that a number of turbine vanes had actually completely broken off. In the turbine that failed, nearly all vanes showed fractures or cracking while the majority of the vanes of the other two low pressure turbines also showed problems. Fault for the problems was placed on Hitachi, the NSSS supplier.
1991, April 4 – Unit 3 reactor coolant supply lowered, automatic SCRAM
2001, November 7 – Unit 1 pipe burst accident
2001, November 9 – Unit 1 coolant leak accident
2002 – In an independent inspection, it was discovered that 16 unique signs of cracks in steam pipes were known by the utility but failed to report to the prefecture level authorities.
2002, May 24 – Unit 2 water leak
2004, February 21 – Unit 2 outbreak of fire in room above turbine room.
2004, August – Unit 4 problem with fabrication of data by utility.
2005, November 4 – Unit 1 pipe leak incident
2005, November 16 – Unit 3 outside pipe leak due to corrosion
2005, November 16 – Unit 1 spent fuel pool had foreign matter detected in it
2006, June – Unit 5 damage to turbine blades
2007, March – Utility admitted to 14 cases of unfair business practices
2009, August 11 – Units 4 and 5 (the only ones operating) automatically shut down due to an earthquake
2011, May 6 – Prime minister Naoto Kan orders Units 4 and 5 to be shut down and Unit 3 not to be restarted
2011, May 15 – 400 tons of seawater were found to have leaked into the Unit 5 turbine steam condenser
2011, May 20 – Damaged pipes were located in the Unit 5 condenser and the operator estimated that about 5 tons of seawater may have entered the reactor itself.
….“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamaoka_Nuclear_Power_Plant (Emphasis Added)
Earthquake Map references:
Our map based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usb000q9sv#summary
Additional maps of interest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Japan_nuke_plant_map as found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Japan
References in Wikipedia articles, last accessed 6 May 2014: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamaoka_Nuclear_Power_Plant
1. Chubu. Hamaoka Data Sheet.
2. Story at BBC News, 2011-05-06. retrieved 2011-05-08
3. Story at Digital Journal. retrieved 2011-05-07
4. Story at Bloomberg, 2011-05-07. retrieved 2011-05-08]
5. “Japan nuke plant suspends work”. Herald Sun. May 15, 2011.
6. “Suit seeks to shut Hamaoka reactors for good”. Japan Times. July 1, 2011.
7. b Japan’s deadly game of nuclear roulette The Japan Times, published 2004-05-23, accessed 2011-03-18
8. Two grave issues concerning the expected Tokai Earthquake Kiyoo Mogi, Earth Planets Space, Vol. 56 (No. 8), pp. li-lxvi, published 2004, accessed 2011-03-11
9. Genpatsu-Shinsai: Catastrophic Multiple Disaster of Earthquake and Quake-induced Nuclear Accident Anticipated in the Japanese Islands (Abstract), Katsuhiko Ishibashi, 23rd. General Assembly of IUGG, 2003, Sapporo, Japan, accessed 2011-03-28
10. a b Quake shuts world’s largest nuclear plant Nature, vol 448, 392-393, doi:10.1038/448392a, published 2007-07-25, accessed 2011-03-18
11. Nuclear crisis in Japan as scientists reveal quake threat to power plants The Times, published 2007-07-19, accessed 2011-03-18
12. Kan calls for halt of Hamaoka nuclear plant 6 May 2011, NHK World (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
13. http://www.yomiuri.co. jp/dy/editorial/T110510004049.htm
14. http://www.yomiuri.co. jp/dy/national/T110520004807.htm
15. http://www.japantoday. com/category/national/view/pipes-inside-condenser-found-damaged-at-hamaoka-nuclear-plant
16. Hosaka, T. A. (9 May 2011). “http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/05/09/japan-nuclear-plant-closing-while-seawall-built.html”. The Jakarta Post (The Associated Press). Retrieved 7 June 2013.
17. Jaif (22 July 2011) Hamaoka operator to build 18m-high embankment
18. Tanaka, Miya, (Kyodo News), “Hamaoka locals evasive on no-nuke future”, Japan Times, 16 February 2012, p. 3.
19. “Reactors in operation”. IAEA. December 31, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
20. NISA. [www.nisa. meti.go.jp/text/kokusai/131121.pdf]
21. The Mainichi Shimbun (8 April 2012) Omaezaki mayoral race starts, focus on resumption of Hamaoka plant
22. Kyodo News, “Hamaoka plant halt leaves locals in economic limbo”, Japan Times, 30 May 2012, p. 3
23. “Mayor re-elected in host city of Hamaoka nuclear plant.” ajw.asahi.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamaoka_Nuclear_Power_Plant
References for: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genpatsu-shinsai
1. Genpatsu-Shinsai: Catastrophic Multiple Disaster of Earthquake and Quake-induced Nuclear Accident Anticipated in the Japanese Islands (Slides), Katsuhiko Ishibashi, 23rd. General Assembly of IUGG, 2003, Sapporo, Japan, accessed 2011-03-28 http://historical.seismology.jp/ishibashi/opinion/0307IUGG_slides.pdf
2. a b Genpatsu-Shinsai: Catastrophic Multiple Disaster of Earthquake and Quake-induced Nuclear Accident Anticipated in the Japanese Islands (Abstract), Katsuhiko Ishibashi, 23rd. General Assembly of IUGG, 2003, Sapporo, Japan, accessed 2011-03-28 http://historical.seismology.jp/ishibashi/opinion/0307IUGG_Genpatsu_Abstract.pdf
(Also found here: http://radio.rcdc.it/wp-content/uploads/terremoto_Abstract.pdf)