Japan shuts down Hamaoka NPP over unfavorable quake forecast

The last two operating reactors of Japan’s Hamaoka nuclear power plant were shut on Saturday down over fears of a major earthquake, the Kyodo news agency said.

Chubu Electric Co. said it had halted reactors No. 4 and No. 5 on a request from the Japanese government.

Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan said last week the Japanese authorities have decided to shut down the reactors due to the risk of an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 and more on the Pacific side of central Japan.

Reactors No. 1 and No. 2, built in the 1970s, were shut down some two years ago, while No. 3 was stopped for repairs.

There is a 87% possibility that a massive earthquake will hit the area within the next 30 years.

The Japanese government has been reviewing the safety of the country’s 54 nuclear reactors since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant in the north, causing radiation leaks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Geological Survey reported that a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck east of the Honshu island at 3:35 Moscow time on Saturday [23:35 GMT Friday]. No damage or casualties have been reported and no tsunami alert issued.

MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti)

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