Published on Jan 17, 2014
Safety screening of nuclear fuel plant begins:
Japanese nuclear regulators have begun procedures for safety screening of a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho Village in Aomori, northeastern Japan.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority held its first meeting on the screening on Friday, after the plant’s operator, Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited, applied for the check early this month.
Authority officials are to check whether the plant conforms to new stringent safety guidelines adopted in December.
An official from Japan Nuclear Fuel said it has raised its estimate of the scale of earthquakes that could hit the plant, and that it will install water pumps and spraying equipment to prevent fires and hydrogen blasts.
NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa said that unlike nuclear power plants, fuel reprocessing compounds house several types of facilities, each requiring different safeguards.
19th anniversary of Great Hanshin Earthquake
Prayers were offered in Japan on Friday for the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake that hit the port city of Kobe and surrounding areas exactly 19 years ago.
The earthquake on January 17th, 1995, killed 6,434 people.
People who lost loved ones in the disaster offered silent prayers at a park in Kobe at 5:46 AM, the time of the quake. Bamboo lanterns were placed at the park in the shape of 1.17.
Another set of lanterns was laid out in the form of 3.11, in a show of solidarity with regions in northeastern Japan that suffered the massive quake and tsunami in 2011.
People in Kobe prayed for the region’s quick reconstruction at 2:46 PM — the time of the March 11th quake.
In Hyogo Prefecture, about half of the residents in public housing for survivors of the 1995 disaster are 65 or older.
In Kobe, 42 percent of the population was born or moved in after the disaster.
Passing on the experiences and lessons learned from the quake is becoming a major challenge.
Local authorities and residents are under pressure to review their anti-quake measures, as seismologists warn of a possible megaquake originating in the Pacific Nankai Trough.
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