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Japanese nuclear power plants get stress test approval from UN

The UN’s Vienna-based International Atomic Agency’s (IAEA) team has been in Japan at the request of the government to review stress tests conducted by its Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) on halted nuclear reactors to verify their safety.

The U.N. nuclear experts have endorsed stress tests designed to show that Japanese nuclear plants could withstand a repeat of last year’s quake and tsunami, as the government campaigns to restart idled reactors and avoid a summer power crunch.

“We concluded that NISA’s instructions to power plants and its review process for the comprehensive safety assessments are generally consistent with IAEA safety standards,” James Lyons, the leader of the 10-member IAEA team, Reuters reports.

“We were very impressed with the way Japan quickly implemented the emergency safety measures after the accident in March. They have also been very active in participating in the international community to determine the steps forward,” Lyons added to reporters.

He also pointed out areas that Japan could improve upon, such as communicating with local communities about stress tests.

Stress tests are computer simulations that evaluate a nuclear reactor’s resilience to severe shocks.

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