Japan Warned Against Nuclear Restart

Reactors sit near active fault lines

Nick Davidson

Seismologists warned Japan on Tuesday that the nuclear reactors they plan to reopen next month are not fit to operate under the threat of future earthquakes. Scientists say Japanese regulators did not take into account active fault lines near the Ohi nuclear power plant that houses the approved reactors. The plant is the first to come back on line after the last of Japan’s 54 reactors was shut down in May 2011, following the March Fukushima disaster. “Instead of making standards more strict, [the new safety guidelines] represent a severe setback in safety standards,” Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist at Kobe University, said. Ishibashi noted that other devastating earthquakes were likely to follow last year’s magnitude 9.0 quake. 

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