Group of Concerned Scientists and Engineers
Calling for the Closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant

c/o The Takagi Fund for Citizen Science
Toda Bldg. 4F, 1-21 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004
For English inquiries contact: Citizens' Nuclear Information Center
Tel: +81-3-3357-3800 Fax: +81-3-3357-3801 email: cnic@nifty.com

14 September 2007

Open Letter to Mohamed ElBaradei
Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency

Your Statement Concerning the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant

Dear Director General Mohamed ElBaradei:

We thank you for your tireless efforts as Director General of the IAEA.

We write to you out of sincere concern regarding the statement you made at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on 10 September regarding the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant.*1

The Japanese government may not have informed you and the IAEA mission of scientific experts which examined the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP in August that, in light of the Japanese government's "Regulatory Guide for Reviewing Seismic Design of Nuclear Power Reactor Facilities (Seismic Guide)"*2 which was revised in September 2006, it is inconceivable to continue to operate a nuclear power plant at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa site. The reason for this is that the basic policy stated in the revised Seismic Guide is that all buildings and structures must be installed on ground having enough support performance.*3 Damage to many structures at the plant as a result of large-scale, wide-spread ground deformations and failures caused by the Chuetsu-Oki earthquake proved that the ground of the site of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant does not fulfill this requirement.

Secondly, the Japanese government may also not have informed you and the IAEA mission that the possibility of occurrence of another huge earthquake near the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant cannot be ruled out. This region is right in the middle of the Uetsu-Shinetsu fold zone, an area of particularly high crustal activity in the Japan Sea Eastern Margin Mobile Belt and has many active faults. Until the occurrence of the predicted Great Nankai (south sea) earthquake around the middle of this century, there is a high probability that a period of high earthquake activity will continue from the Japan Sea Eastern Margin Mobile Belt to central / southwest Japan.*4 It is therefore impossible to say that large earthquakes in this region ended with the 2004 Chuetsu earthquake and the recent Chuetsu-Oki earthquake. Also, we cannot ignore the possibility that, even several to ten years from now, large earthquakes could occur as aftershocks, in the broad sense of the word, of the Chuetsu-Oki earthquake. The IAEA points to the importance of investigation of active faults, but it must not be forgotten that huge earthquakes, which are not related to active faults observed near the surface, could occur.

We would like to request you to be sure of the facts concerning the actual situation in Japan before making further statements concerning the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant.

We hereby respectfully request and urge you to read our appeal attached to this letter: "Call for Closure of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant" (issued 21 August 2007).*5

Yours sincerely,

Group of Concerned Scientists and Engineers Calling for the Closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant

Steering members:
Katsuhiko Ishibashi, Seismologist, Professor of Kobe University
Hiromitsu Ino, Metallurgist, Emeritus Professor of the University of Tokyo
Mitsuhiko Tanaka, former nuclear power plant design engineer, science writer
Yukio Yamaguchi, Physicist, Co-Director of Citizens' Nuclear Information Center

cc: IAEA Board of Governors


*1: http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Statements/2007/ebsp2007n013.html
*2: http://www.shinsashishin-nsc.jp/pdf/1/si004.pdf
*3: The fact that it is "required for all buildings and structures" is clearly explained in Shigeki Nagura, Yosuke Maeda, Hideki Mizuma and Hiroyuki Aoyama's "Revision of Japanese 'Examination Guide for Seismic Design of Nuclear Power Reactor Facilities' " (Proceedings of the 12th Japan Earthquake Engineering Symposium, CD-ROM, 43-49, 2006).
*4: Such seismically active periods were observed before the 1854 Ansei-Tokai and Ansei-Nankai earthquakes and before the 1944 Tonankai and the 1946 Nankai earthquakes. Meanwhile, there is a view that the following earthquakes are all manifestations of a current active period: 1995 Hyogo-ken Nambu, 2000 Tottori-ken Seibu, 2004 Niigata-ken Chuetsu, 2005 Fukuoka-ken Seiho-Oki, 2007 Noto Peninsula, 2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsu-Oki.
*5:"Appeal: Call for Closure of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant", Group of Concerned Scientists and Engineers Calling for the Closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, 21 August 2007.





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