Lessons Learned from Fukushima: New Regulations Aim to Prepare U.S. Nuclear Power Plants for Disasters

By Micah Green, Esq., Staff Counsel, California Department of Fish & Wildlife and Hayley Penan, Esq., Deputy Legislative Counsel, State of California Office of Legislative Counsel, Sacramento, CA

Background

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck off the coast of the Japanese island of Honshu.1 The earthquake, which would later be recognized as the most powerful seismic event ever recorded in Japan,2 triggered tsunami waves reaching heights of up to 30 feet as they moved inland.3 Overall, the earthquake and tsunami created widespread devastation throughout mainland Japan, resulting in over 15,000 deaths and causing more than $200 billion in damage.4

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