A nuclear plant in Japan that was damaged in an earthquake last month may stay shut for months, says a UN team. The quake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, caused a small fire and low-level radiation leaks at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa site, the world’s largest nuclear plant. A team from the UN’s Atomic Energy Agency was brought in at the request of concerned local authorities. Head of the delegation Philippe Jamet: “When you think about restarting such a plant you have to very carefully think about what you have to check first, what you have to demonstrate first. It’s a methodology that has to be very carefully thought about.”
Jamet added the process could take months or even up to a year. The facility is situated above an active fault line. Yet, according to the plant operator, it was not designed to withstand a tremor of such magnitude. The incident came a year after Japan tightened quake-proofing regulations for its 17 nuclear sites.