Inspectors check Tsuruga plant's data credibility

Japan's nuclear regulator has started inspecting the Tokyo head office of the operator of the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan.

Officials from the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority arrived at the Japan Atomic Power Company's head office on Monday morning. It's their seventh inspection of the utility's headquarters.

In August, the NRA decided to suspend screening on whether to allow the plant's No.2 reactor to be put back online. This came after revelations that the firm had deleted part of its data report on a fault beneath the reactor, leaving only the results of the latest analysis.

The regulator called the utility's handling of the data inappropriate, saying it has made a comparison of the latest results with older data impossible.

During the two-day inspection, secretariat officials plan to interview the utility's employees about the steps they took to ensure the data's credibility, including how it was obtained and the process for determining its appropriateness.

The operator says it will respond to the inspection in an earnest manner.

The regulator and the utility have been divided over whether the fault beneath the reactor could move.