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Questions remain over how to handle huge volcanic eruptions near nuclear plants via The Mainichi

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA)’s expert panel on Sept. 2 released the “draft of basic views” designed to help prepare for huge volcanic eruptions around nuclear power plants in Japan.

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Nevertheless, Setsuya Nakada, professor at the University of Tokyo, said, “It is unreasonable to leave all of the monitoring work to plant operators. A framework should be created at the national level.” Hiroshi Shinohara, chief researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, said, “It does not clarify who will decide the criteria for determining volcanic eruptions and how they will be set.”

Kunihiko Shimazaki, acting chairman of the NRA, acknowledged that there was more work to be done about the criteria, saying, “We are not sure to what extent, but it is necessary to set it.”

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Furthermore, with respect to measures against volcanic eruptions at Mount Fuji, Chubu Electric Power Co. applied for safety assessments of its Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station in Shizuoka Prefecture in a bid to restart the facility, saying, “Even if Mount Fuji were to erupt, it would not damage the safety functions of the power station.” The NRA is to examine whether the power station is capable of withstanding such volcanic hazards.

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