Chubu Elec halts nuclear plant after Japan quake

TOKYO, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co 9502.T halted operations at its sole Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka prefecture after a strong quake, the trade ministry said on Tuesday. [ID:nT322240]

The two reactors, the 1,137-megawatt No.4 and 1,267-MW No.5 units shut down automatically after registering the Magnitude 6.6 quake, the ministry said.

The ministry said there was an alarm for high radioactivity inside the No.5 unit but that there was no radioactive material impact on the outside environment.

The plant’s 1,100-MW No.3 reactor has been shut since mid-June for a planned inspection.

The Hamaoka plant had a total five reactors, but Chubu has scrapped the 540-MW No.1 and 840-MW No.2 reactors built over 30 years ago, which had been shut for years due to delays in upgrading earthquake-resistance.

It plans to replace them with a new No.6 reactor with a bigger power generation capacity, with construction due to start in 2015. (Editing by Rodney Joyce)