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Chapter Twenty-Five Nuclear Risks in Coastal Areas: Legal and Regulatory Responses

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Chapter Summary

On March 11, 2011 a massive earthquake followed by a 46 foot (15 meter) wave battered the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant on Japan's eastern coastline. Nuclear power sources in coastal areas are subject to unique environmental risks that could cause or amplify a disaster, such as heightened seismic activity, tsunamis, lateral erosion, tidal action, and typhoons. Nuclear power plants pose a number of risks to the coastal environment. Locating nuclear plants near the sea also creates unique risks in the event of an emergency or disaster, such as exposure to spent fuel rods stored at the site and radioactive releases. This chapter briefs about the risks nuclear activities pose to coastal areas, as well as analyzing the effectiveness of legal and regulatory responses to such threats at the domestic and international levels. Developing countries are particularly interested in nuclear energy generation projects.

Keywords: coastal areas; Fukushima Daichi; nuclear power plant; radioactive releases



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