TOKYO, May 1 (UPI) -- Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission is urging power companies to use seismic research to develop better earthquake resistance measures for nuclear power stations.
The proposed revisions urge utilities to prepare for a possible major earthquake occurring either directly below or near nuclear power stations.
Because of the cost, the power industry maintains that the revisions are unnecessary, and that Japanese nuclear power plants are already reinforced strongly enough to withstand a potential major earthquake.
Yomiuri Shimbun reported on April 29 that a panel of experts drew up the commission's recommendations to revise government guidelines which, if adapted would be the first major overhaul of the standards in 25 years.
Public concern over nuclear power plant safety has risen after the Kanazawa District Court in March ordered Hokuriku Electric Power Co.'s Shiga nuclear No. 2 reactor in Ishikawa Prefecture to suspend operations.
Japan is the world's third-largest generator of nuclear electricity, behind the United States and France, currently operating 55 of the world's 443 nuclear reactors. Japan is planning to construct an additional 12 reactors.
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