Jul 18,2007 00:00
TOKYO -- Japan's nuclear power plant affected by Monday's 6.8-magnitude temblor may be on an earthquake fault line, a report said Wednesday.
Kyodo news service, quoting a Japan Meteorological Agency analysis of the quake, reported the fault line may extend right below the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station, the world's largest.
"We did not assume an earthquake of this magnitude at the time of designing the nuclear power plant," a spokesman for the plant operator was quoted as saying. "After looking at aftershock location data, we have come to realize a fault lies right below the nuclear power plant."
Numerous problems at the seven-reactor plant in the aftermath of the earthquake included a fire and radioactivity leaks.
Kyodo reported a Tokyo high court in 2005 rejected a lawsuit by local residents to revoke a state permit on the installation of the plant's No. 1 reactor. The plaintiffs claimed an active fault existed around the site of the station.
Earlier reports said the government has suspended operations at the plant until inspectors have checked it and safety is assured.
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