Drilling Survey Starts in Yamaguchi for N-fuel Facility

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Nagashima Island, where Chugoku Electric Power Co. plans to build a nuclear power plant, is seen in Kaminoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

YAMAGUCHI (Jiji Press) — Chugoku Electric Power Co. started a drilling survey Tuesday in the town of Kaminoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture for the possible construction of an interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel generated from nuclear power plants.

The survey, to continue for six months, is scheduled to be conducted at a depth of 100-300 meters underground to check the presence of active faults and the distribution of strata and geology.

Chugoku Electric will ask the town government to agree on the construction of an interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel if the site is found to be suitable to host such a facility.

The company may set up the facility in the planned site of a nuclear power plant in the town. The plant’s construction by Chugoku Electric has been suspended.

In August last year, the Kaminoseki government accepted a plan to allow Chugoku Electric and Kansai Electric Power Co. to conduct a joint survey for the construction of the storage facility.

Chugoku Electric carried out a literature survey to study past huge earthquakes and tsunami in related areas.

In late January, it began preparations for the drilling survey, such as cutting down trees in areas around 11 locations to be drilled.

Chugoku Electric will proceed with related operations safely while paying attention to environmental protection, an official said.