TOKYO (majirox news) – Chubu Electric Power Company will build walls over 15 meters ( about 50 feet) around Hamoka nuclear power plant at Omaezaki City, the tip of Japan’s Pacific coast, in Shizuoka prefecture to prevent a tsunami from damaging it. The waves that hit the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant on March 11 were about 14 meters (about 46 feet) high.
“This will put our resident’s minds at ease,” said Makoto Mizutani, general director at Hanoka’s nuclear plant.
Chubu Electric Company will revise its schedule to build reactor No. 6 at the plant in response to the crisis at the Fukushima plant. They had planned to start construction of the reactor around 2015 and commercial operations five years later.
According to plant officials, the Hamaoka plant had been designed to withstand a magnitude 8.5 earthquake. The design decision was made because of an 1854 earthquake with a magnitude 8.4 that was believed to be the largest ever to strike the region. But the Great East Japan Earthquake had a magnitude 9.0.
The Kansai Electric Power Company president said the company will invest up to about 1.2 billion dollars to improve safety against natural disaster at its nuclear plant.
There are 54 nuclear power reactors now operating in Japan. Under the central government’s basic energy plan, which covers a period through 2030, nine new nuclear power reactors were supposed be constructed by 2020 and at least five more by 2030.
Chubu Electric is Japan’s third-largest power utility by capacity after TEPCO and Kansai Electric.