New Japanese Prime Minister Looks to Revive Nuclear Industry
(LinkAsia: February 1, 2013)
Thuy Vu:
After a major meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi two years ago, Japan shut down the country's nuclear power plants. The government of the day promised to make the country nuke free. But the newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made it a top priority to reverse that policy saying Japan needs energy. In preparation for getting Japan's nuclear reactors up and running again, new safety measures have been announced. For more on the story, here's Japan's public broadcaster NHK.


Airdate: January 29, 2012

An expert panel within the authority finalized the guidelines to be passed into law by July. The new regulations will define active faults as formations that have moved in the past 120,000 to 130,000 years. But that could be extended to 400,000 years ago if faults are hard to identify. The guidelines will force plant operators to prepare for the highest possible tsunami for all of the reactors. The operators will have to implement safety measures like sea walls to protect the plant from tsunamis and minimize flooding.


Thuy Vu:
There's still a lot of work to be done to safeguard the country's nuclear reactors from another disaster. And researchers have just discovered that one reactor in central Japan may be resting directly over an active fault. Once again, here's NHK.


Airdate: January 28, 2012

The experts drafted a report on the newly found fault under Tsuruga plant site in Fukui prefecture at a meeting on Monday. They said it might have moved after 120,000 to 130,000 years ago. The draft says that fractures direction and other  factors suggest that another fault could be directly under the plant's number 2 reactor. And could be active. Authority official Kunihiko Shimazaki expressed readiness to hear opinions on the matter from other experts and the plant's operator. Japan autonomic power company. He said learning from others would be helpful in compiling a thorough report. Government guidelines prohibit building key nuclear facilities directly above active faults.

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