The nuclear industry watchdog is pitching new safety standards on earthquake and tsunami preparedness, which could substantially delay restarts of some idled nuclear plants.
The draft outline of the new standards, presented on Jan. 29 by an expert panel of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, calls for broad measures against the highest possible tsunami.
The highest possible tsunami, called the "reference tsunami," will be set for individual nuclear plants.
Operators will be required to build levees high enough to defend nuclear plants from a reference tsunami and take measures to prevent damage from possible flooding, such as waterproofing buildings that house key equipment.
The draft outline also calls for considering volcano collapses and landslides, in addition to earthquakes, as possible triggers for a tsunami.