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Japan to ‘stress test’ all nuclear reactors

World's worst atomic accident since Chernobyl has ignited debate about the safety of n-power.

Written by Agencies | Tokyo |
July 6, 2011 2:48:38 pm

Japan said today it will run “stress tests” on all its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi atomic accident sparked by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

The ongoing crisis,the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl 25 years ago,has ignited debate in Japan about the safety of nuclear power,which before the disaster accounted for a third of its electricity needs.

The centre-left government ordered a round of initial tests on the quake-prone country’s other atomic plants after the disaster,and said the new stress tests aimed to reassure the public that the facilities are safe.

“The safety of nuclear power plants has been secured,but this is to gain a further sense of security among the people,” said Trade,Economy and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda,according to the Jiji Press news agency.

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Speaking on television,he added: “We are planning the stress tests to gain the understanding of local residents. We will get further confidence from the people and will restart operations at some plants.”

He did not give details of what the tests would entail or when they would start,saying only they would commence soon.

An official at his ministry said that the tests would be modelled on those announced recently by the European Union.

Following the Fukushima crisis,the EU ordered tests for its 143 nuclear plants,saying it would look at how they could withstand extreme and multiple disasters previously considered unthinkable.

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