'Silly' to run Japanese nuclear plant on fault line
JAPAN'S only working nuclear power plant sits on what may be a seismic fault in the earth's crust, a geologist has warned.
Mitsuhisa Watanabe says the earth's plates could move under the Oi nuclear plant in western Japan, causing a catastrophe to rival last year's atomic disaster at Fukushima - although some of his colleagues on a nuclear advisory panel disagree.
"It is an active fault. The plates shifted some 120,000 to 130,000 years ago for sure," Mr Watanabe, of Tokyo's Toyo University, said.
"In research that I have conducted on active faults in Japan and overseas, structures built above them were all damaged" when they moved and caused an earthquake, he said.
Mr Watanabe, a tectonic geomorphologist, is part of a five-member team tasked by the Nuclear Regulation Authority with looking into the tectonic situation underneath the plant, which houses the country's only working reactors.