Since last year, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (Tepco) has left two broken seismometers unrepaired in Reactor No.3 at its Fukushima nuclear power plant No.1, officials said on Monday.
The instruments at the Fukushima Prefecture factory did not record the tremors caused by a powerful earthquake that rocked the Tohoku region on February 13 because they were not functioning. In some places in Tohoku, the earthquake measured upper level 6, the second highest level on the Japanese seismic intensity scale.
The issue was reported at a meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority on Monday.
According to Tepco, the seismometers of reactors No.1 to No.4 of the power plant broke down during the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 which hit the region and triggered a triple meltdown of the plant.
The company is currently measuring the strength of earthquakes using seismometers at Reactors # 5 and # 6.
In March last year, the NRA stressed the need to assess the seismic suitability of the reactor building No.3, which was damaged in a hydrogen explosion at the start of the 2011 nuclear crisis. .
During this month, Tepco installed seismometers on the first and fifth floors of the building.
The one on the first floor broke after being submerged due to heavy rains last July, while the one on the fifth floor malfunctioned last October.
At a press conference on Monday, a Tepco official said the company planned to install new seismometers after identifying the causes of the malfunctions and implementing preventive measures.
Tecpo should have hastily introduced substitutes, before considering replacing them with improved seismometers, the official added.
In a time of both disinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing you can help us make the right story.