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Wall to protect against tsunami built at Hamaoka nuclear plant

A protective wall at the Hamaoka nuclear complex is seen in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Dec. 26, 2015. (Mainichi)

OMAEZAKI, Shizuoka -- Chubu Electric Power Co. finished the main part of a wall to protect against tsunami at Hamaoka nuclear power station here on Dec. 26.

    Soil embankments on both ends of the wall are scheduled to be finished in March 2016, which will mark the end of the work. The wall has been under construction since 2011.

    The Hamaoka nuclear complex is within the estimated hypocenter region of a major earthquake in the Nankai Trough. The wall is 22 meters above sea level and 1.6 kilometers long. The wall was planned to be 18 meters above sea level when work began after the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, as the tsunami estimated by the national government for a major Nankai Trough quake overtopped this, the wall height was boosted by 4 meters.

    Chubu Electric is aiming to restart its No. 3 and 4 reactors at the nuclear complex, and has applied to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for the necessary safety checks. The utility plans to finish safety-boosting construction at the No. 4 reactor in September 2016 and at the No. 3 reactor in September 2017. The total construction costs for work at the plant to boost its resistance to disasters are expected to be between 350 billion and 400 billion yen.

    However, talks between the utility and municipalities situated within 30 kilometers of the plant to establish a safety agreement related to reactivation of the plant have struggled to make progress, and there is no sign of when such an agreement might be reached.

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