Japan nuke chief hints no restarts until next year
TOKYO (AP) -- The head of Japan's new nuclear regulatory agency says reactors won't be allowed to restart until they pass seismic inspections and meet new safety standards to be instituted next year.
Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, says the new safety requirements will become law by July. Emergency procedures for accidents and terrorist attacks will become compulsory for nuclear plant operators, following criticism that collusion between them and authorities left the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi plant unprepared for last year's crisis.
Tanaka told The Associated Press on Thursday that his agency would raise safety hurdles, ordering reactors shut if ongoing seismic inspections find active faults in their vicinity. He said towns around the plants must come up with expanded emergency procedures by March before any reactor is considered for resumption.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)