The Japanese government and nuclear regulation authorities have deemed the Ikata Nuclear Power Plant safe for restart despite sitting directly above a large mass of hot magma.

“We’ve done future projections determining that the pool of scorching magma directly beneath the surface won’t have any adverse effects in my lifetime,” said the 83-year-old head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA).

The Ikata Nuclear Power Plant is situated within five kilometers of Japan’s longest fault line system running “parallel to Japan’s volcanic arc, passing through central Honshu to Nagoya, then through the Inland Sea from the Kii Channel and Naruto Strait to Shikoku along the Sadamisaki Peninsula and the Bungo Channel and Hōyo Strait to Kyushu”.

Median Tectonic Line
Median Tectonic Line

Despite its “intimidating size” the fault line is showing no signs of activity for the remaining expected lifespan of the members of the Nuclear Safety Commission board.

“I can’t recall any instances in this country where an earthquake may have caused a nuclear disaster where there was severe exposure to radiation, the displacement of thousands of families, and the contamination of vast areas of the environment in Fukushima,” said one regulator.

Reference: Tectonic Plate