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Disaster-preparedness also for non-plant nuke facilities

August 3, 2013


Nuclear watchdog to require disaster-readiness checks for non-plant nuclear facilities



The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) will require operators of nuclear fuel processing facilities to undergo checks for disaster-preparedness similar to those imposed on nuclear power plants, officials decided at a meeting on Aug. 2.

The NRA will require public reports from the facilities every five years. It will put the requirement into writing this fall and apply it from December.

Facilities that will be subject to the requirement include spent nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities and mixed oxide fuel (MOX) processing factories. So-called stress tests, used to check for disaster-readiness at nuclear plants, were implemented by the former Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency after the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster, but this will be the first time that these tests will be required by law.

The NRA will also require that nuclear power plants calculate the probability of being hit by a major disaster as part of their safety evaluations.

At the meeting on Aug. 2, NRA committee member Toyoshi Fuketa said, "Through the public release of disaster-risk data, it will become possible to compare how much each facility has done to prepare itself against a disaster."


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