New proposed safety regulations announced by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) would enhance each reactor’s ability to maintain stability during nuclear accidents and other extreme events. Among the changes are requirements that power plants have enhanced filters and more than one access to the external grid power. The NRA has previously stated that the 48 reactors still offline after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi will have to meet the new standards before they’re permitted to restart. The regulations are now up for public comment, with the final recommendations expected in July.
The proposed regulations are already facing criticism on several fronts. The Wall Street Journal cites critics noting that the regulations don’t cover major issues such as whether upgrades can be done over time and how to define whether a plant is above an “active fault.” There are also concerns that the new regulations could hurt businesses that are still trying to recover economically, according to The New York Times.