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Will the ‘stricter regulations’ serve as protection?
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by Julie Fidler
Posted on October 21, 2015
Just days after 1,800 people from around Kyushu gathered to protest the planned restart of another reactor at the Sendai nuclear plant, the second reactor has been brought online. The Sendai Nuclear Power Plant is the only one working in Japan since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. [1]

There are currently 20 reactors at 13 Japanese nuclear power plants undergoing audits to confirm that their safety standards are in compliance with new regulations adopted since the Fukushima meltdown. The new regulations are significantly stricter than those that existed prior to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that crashed into Fukushima and make provisions for the highest level of earthquake and tsunami risk. Nuclear power plants in Japan must now have several backup power sources available, as well as other comprehensive emergency measures. [2]

Opinion polls have consistently shown that residents were against bringing the second Sendai reactor online. On October 12, nearly 2,000 people protested the restart, waving placards reading “Nuclear plant, no more” and shouting slogans. The plant’s No. 1 reactor was brought back on line in August. [3]

Protesters called the decision to bring No. 2 online a “suicidal” decision, as a steam generator in the reactor building has not been replaced with a more durable one. Kyushu Electric Power Co. had said it would replace the generator in 2009.

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