Japan's Asahi Shimbum reports:
TEPCO misled Diet panel, averted quake-damage inspection at Fukushima plant
Tokyo Electric Power Co. misled a Diet investigation panel citing "pitch blackness" and “dreadfully high” radiation levels in a reactor building to effectively block an inspection for possible quake damage at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
“(TEPCO’s explanation) was absolutely false and seriously obstructed the investigation,” Mitsuhiko Tanaka, a former member of the now-disbanded Diet commission, said in a statement submitted to the chiefs of the two Diet chambers on Feb. 7.
Tanaka asked the Diet to inspect the No. 1 reactor building to see if isolation condensers--key safety components at nuclear plants--were damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.
If the emergency cooling system was damaged by the magnitude-9.0 earthquake, stricter quake-resistance standards would be required for nuclear power plants, further delaying the restarts of idled reactors around the country.
The isolation condensers stopped working soon after the earthquake struck, which is believed to have contributed to the early meltdown of the No. 1 reactor.
TEPCO has denied they were damaged by the quake.
Read more: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201302070058
On a recent report by New Scientist, the magazine reassures readers that nuclear plants are designed well enough to resist earthquake damage. Which is not accurate, as the report above indicates.
Do Earthquakes Threaten Iran Nuclear Facilities?
Nuclear power stations generally cope quite well with earthquakes, says Michael Bluck of Imperial College London. They are built on thick slabs of concrete that cushion them, and backup generators are used to keep the reactors cool in the event of an accident.Didn't the Fukushima disaster show that earthquakes are a risk to nuclear power stations?
Fukushima rode out the earthquake safely but the Japanese disaster was a reminder that nuclear power stations are vulnerable to tsunamis.
Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23391-briefing-do-earthquakes-threaten-irans-nuclear-facilities.html
Iran sits on fault lines, and suffers from frequent strong earthquakes, some of them quite devastating.