Tough rules coming down for Japan's nuclear industry


As a result of the Fukushima accident, Japan's newly established Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) is proposing stringent rules to prevent accidents and ensure safety at the country's nuclear power plants.

NRA's draft proposal, spurred on by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and resulting issues encountered by Tokyo Electric Power Company and the government, is comprehensive, and meeting the demands of these rules will be critical for any power company wanting to restart their nuclear reactors.

Some of the rules could be expensive and difficult for utilities to implement. For example, power plants will need a back-up control room and a method of injecting water to cool a molten core that has already left the reactor vessel but remains in containment, according to World Nuclear News. Power companies will also need to be able to deal with a severe accident situation, without outside assistance, for an entire week -- even in the case of a widespread emergency such as a major natural disaster.

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