Panel: Fault under Japan nuke plant may be active

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Photo -   In this Dec. 2, 2012 photo, members of a Japanese geologist team commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority check a fault in the structure underneath the Tsuruga nuclear plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, northwestern Japan. The five-member panel said Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, a seismic fault running underneath the plant is likely to be active, which could force the scrapping of its No. 2 reactor, one of its two reactors. The panel said the structure showed signs of seismic movement around 100,000 years ago, recent enough to still be active. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, FRANCE, HONG KONG, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA
In this Dec. 2, 2012 photo, members of a Japanese geologist team commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority check a fault in the structure underneath the Tsuruga nuclear plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, northwestern Japan. The five-member panel said Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, a seismic fault running underneath the plant is likely to be active, which could force the scrapping of its No. 2 reactor, one of its two reactors. The panel said the structure showed signs of seismic movement around 100,000 years ago, recent enough to still be active. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, FRANCE, HONG KONG, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA
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TOKYO (AP) — A team of Japanese geologists says a seismic fault running underneath a nuclear plant in western Japan is likely to be active, which could force the scrapping of one of its two reactors.

The five-member panel commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority announced Monday that the structure underneath the Tsuruga plant showed signs of seismic movement around 100,000 years ago, recent enough to still be active.

Japanese guidelines prohibit nuclear facilities above active faults. Tsuruga's No. 2 reactor sits directly above the fault and would have to be scrapped if the panel's conclusion is officially accepted.

Only two of Japan's 50 reactors are generating power. The rest are undergoing safety checks after the March, 11, 2011, tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant and caused reactor meltdowns.

Possible seismic faults are being investigated near several other plants.

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