Japan seems to not have learnt any lessons from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, triggered by the earthquake and a massive tsunami that shook the country last year.
According to claims by two seismologists, Japan is ignoring the lessons of the Fukushima disaster, as the country has approved the restart of the two reactors at the Kansai Electric Power Ohi nuclear plant, northwest of Tokyo, without considering new safety guidelines, Reuters reports.
"The stress tests and new safety guidelines for restarting nuclear power plants both allow for accidents at plants to occur. Instead of making standards stricter, they both represent a severe setback in safety standards," Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist at Kobe University said.
Ishibashi had also warned that Japan was at a risk of nuclear disaster if any massive earthquake occurred, after radiation leaks at a nuclear reactor in Tokyo in 2007 following an earthquake.
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan on 11 March, 2011, that triggered a massive tsunami, devastated Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, leading to leakage of radioactive water into the ocean, spread of radiation in air and soil.
Radiation was detected in bluefin tuna caught as far as San Diego, off the California coast, just four months after the Fukushima disaster. The fish, when examined, showed small traces of Cesium-137 and Cesium-134
The Fukushima nuclear disaster has been dubbed as the worst since Ukraine's Chernobyl disaster of 1986.
All the nuclear reactors at the Ohi nuclear plant were shut following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. There has been huge public opposition to the reinstating of Ohi nuclear plant since seismic threat to the reactor has been underestimated, Mitsuhisa Watanabe, a tectonic geomorphology professor at Tokyo University, said.
Despite warnings and opposition, two of the Ohi nuclear plant reactors will start operating on 1 July.