Japan to conduct nuclear plant tests

2011-07-06 10:00

kalahari.com

Tokyo - Japan said on Wednesday it will conduct "stress tests" on all the country's nuclear plants to ease heightened concerns about disaster preparedness after this year's tsunami sparked the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan knocked out power at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, sending it toward meltdown in a crisis that engineers are still struggling to contain. The plant operator has come under heavy criticism for failing to sufficiently prepare for the disasters.

The government already ordered exhaustive safety checks on all the country's 54 nuclear reactors following the disaster, and it was not immediately clear what additional measures would be added by the stress tests.

Officials provided few details. However, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda said the new safety checks will gauge the facilities' defences against extreme events like big earthquakes.

"There is no change in our view that it is safe," Kaieda said, adding that the tests are intended to offer more reassurance to local residents.

More than two-thirds of Japan's reactors remain offline. Utilities with plants that were shut down for safety reviews after the crisis or that already had been offline due to routine maintenance have been reluctant to restart them because of public anxiety and anti-nuclear protests.

Natural, man-made events

A major on the southwest island of Kyushu last week endorsed the resumption of operations at two nuclear reactors in his city, Genkai, in what would be the first restart of idled plants since the Fukushima crisis. But the latest announcement is likely to delay that process.

The governor of Saga prefecture, where Genkai is located, has yet to add his own approval. He said on Wednesday that he would hold off on making a final decision until results of the new test became available, according to Kyodo News agency.

Kaieda said Japan's stress tests will incorporate elements from those ordered by the European Union on the 143 nuclear plants in that region after the Fukushima crisis.

Those reviews, which started June 1, are supposed to consider the impact of both natural and man-made events such as airplane crashes and terrorist attacks.

Kaieda said Japan's stress tests also will include ideas from Japanese regulators and local residents.

Nuclear power generates about 30% of Japan's electricity. If nuclear reactors currently shut for maintenance face delays in resuming operations, the country could face a power shortfall in the months ahead. But Kaieda played down such worries.

"I will take responsibility to ensure that there are no power supply problems," he said.

- AP
Read more on:    japan  |  nuclear  |  japan earthquake
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding

Learn some great skills that will help your riding on the road and on the track.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips on how to set your fitness goals
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong social and romantic overtone that plays its way into your day. It may get stronger later in the day when the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.