Japanese bills aim to improve pressure vessels standards

09 January 2012

Posted by Satvir Bhullar

A series of pieces of new legislation in Japan are intended to improve the standards of pressure vessels in the country.

The government's decision to impose further regulations on the technology follows last year's meltdown at the Fukuskima nuclear power station in the north of the country.

A massive earthquake followed by a tsunami caused substantial damage to the facility, leading to its cores overheating and melting through pressure vessels.

Goshi Hosono, Japan's Environment Minister, has declared that the government now wants tighter laws governing nuclear power site operators to prevent future disasters and enhance safety standards.

According to the Japan Times, he explained there are plans in place to place a cap on the number of years reactors can be in service of 40, although exceptions may be made if certain conditions are met.

Measures aimed at tightening regulation of the industry will be included in bills submitted to the nation's Parliament, such as ensuring Government orders to adopt safety procedures are legally binding.

Owned by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the end of the nuclear emergency situation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant was declared by the Prime Minister on December 26th 2011.

A roadmap towards decommissioning the plant has been officially approved by the Government and is now being implemented, with efforts made to ensure stable conditions are maintained, including the removal of fuel debris and spend fuel.

"We continue to make every effort to enable evacuees to return to their homes as early as possible and eliminate the anxieties of the people in Fukushima and whole nation as soon as possible," Tepco recently stated.

An emergency situation was declared at the site on March 12th 2011, the day after the devastating earthquake and all units reached a cold shutdown by March 15th, with activities over the intervening months dedicated to ensuring this was kept stable.

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