CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - Immediate safety upgrades will be put into place at nuclear plants throughout Japan in the wake of a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant triggered by a tsunami that resulted from a massive earthquake earlier this month, the Japanese government said Wednesday.
The goal of the regulations is to make nuclear plant operators capable of preventing damage to reactor cores and spent fuel rods, prevent the emission of radioactivity and recover cooling mechanisms in a situation where a tsunami compromises a plant's cooling systems, Banri Kaieda, a Japanese Cabinet member, said Wednesday.
Plants will be required to inspect their devices and equipment in order to test their ability to withstand a tsunami, the government said. In addition, plants will be required to make emergency plans and run an emergency drill, acting as if cooling systems have been compromised, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said in a statement. They will also have to ensure they have access to an alternative power source if emergency power fails and implement emergency cooling water solutions.
The tsunami that hit March 11 flooded the generators supplying backup power to the Daiichi plant, and backup battery power only lasted for a few hours. Workers were left scrambling to find a way to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools to avoid a meltdown. More recently, efforts at the plant have been focused on restoring power and deciding how to handle contaminated water discovered within the plant.
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