Japan Nuke Plants Ordered to Prepare for Aftershocks

Just hours after Japan's nuclear safety agency ordered power plants to improve earthquake readiness, a magitude-5.9 aftershock rocked the northeast of the country. No damage at the Fukushima plant was reported. Utility companies are supposed to reinforce or rebuild power lines connecting each reactor to prevent another outage like the one following an aftershock on April 7. The reactors must maintain power in order to keep the reactors from overheating, as several Fukushima reactors did following the March 11 quake and tsunami. Meanwhile, the newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported that a secret plan to dismantle and nationalize Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility operating the Fukushima plant, is being passed around within the government. The plan would put the company into government-supervised bankruptcy and restructure its assets. On Friday, Tepco announced plans to distribute $12,000 to each household evacuated from the area around the crippled reactors.