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02/27/2013

Two years after Fukushima: Japan's nuclear industry not ready

Fuku
                                                                                       A Reuters photos showing the explosions at Fukushima nuclear plant.

Almost two years after the Fukushima disaster, not one of Japan’s 16 nuclear power plants have satisfied the government’s proposed new safety standards, says a report in The Asahi Shimbun, a daily.

That means the nuclear power stations can’t be restarted in the near future.

Operators at nine plants said they cannot say when they can meet the new requirements, said the paper.

The Asahi Shimbun contacted 10 electric utilities to check the progress in safety precautions they have made since the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.

The 16 plants do not include the Fukushima plant, the site of a disaster two years ago.

When a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami hit Japan in March 2011, it not only killed 18,000 people but triggered a third disaster: three reactors at Fukushima melted down and a fire broke out in a fourth, making it the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, a quarter of a century earlier.

Oh, and the cost of Fukushima to date as calculated by Greenpeace? $250 billion.

Raveena Aulakh is the Toronto Star's environment reporter. She is intrigued by climate change and its impact, now and long-term. Follow her on Twitter @raveenaaulakh

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