Hitachi has admitted that the equipment for the No. 5 reactor of Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.’s Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka prefecture and the No. 3 reactor of The Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc.’s (Chugoku) Shimane plant in Shimane prefecture do not meet its specifications, but said there is no problem with its material or safety. The No. 3 reactor is under construction.

Hitachi is inspecting if there were any similar incidents of data falsification in connection with 17 other nuclear reactors built by the company.

Hitachi has outsourced the heat-treatment work, which was projected to make the pipes more resistant to cracking, to Japan Industrial Testing Co., Ltd.

During the work, the temperatures of the pipes decreased faster than set criteria due to inappropriate management of the temperature, but the data was erased from records using a bleaching agent, according to Hitachi and other sources.

The incident at the Shimane reactor occurred last December 2008 when a person in charge of the work incorrectly operated the heat-treatment equipment and failed to quickly notice the irregularity, sources said.

The person in charge was quoted as saying, If (the mistake had been) found, I would have had to do the heat-treatment process again at the year-end when I was supposed to be off. I didn’t want to do that. An official at Japan Industrial Testing Co., Ltd. Has apologized over the matter and guaranteed that the company will train its employees appropriately. Hitachi has also apologized and said that it will work to prevent a recurrence.

Hitachi has started to investigate the matter after Chugoku found possible data falsification related to the heat-treatment work of the Shimane plant’s No. 3 reactor in March 2009.