Japan to 'stress test' nuclear reactors

July 6, 2011 at 8:59 PM
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TOKYO, July 6 (UPI) -- Japan says it will conduct stress tests on all its nuclear reactors as a result of the Fukushima plant crisis following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said Japan's 54 reactors would be subjected to "stress tests" to determine how prepared they are to withstand major disasters, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Only 19 of the country's reactors are still operating, causing an ongoing energy crisis, the BBC said.

"The safety of nuclear power plants has been secured, but this is to gain a further sense of security among the people," Kaieda said.

"We are planning the stress tests to gain the understanding of local residents," he said in a television appearance. "We will get further confidence from the people and will restart operations at some plants."

Before the Fukushima disaster, about 30 percent of Japan's power came from nuclear energy, making it the world's third-biggest nuclear generating country after the United States and France.

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