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Nissan to reinforce Japanese plants in defense of earthquakes

Posted May 19th 2011 2:00PM

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Nissan plant in Japan

The March 11 earthquake in Japan left the country's auto industry with a broken supply chain and a few serious plant problems. Bloomberg reports that Nissan is looking to strengthen some key plants in an effort to minimize harm from any future quakes, starting with the heavily damaged Iwaki engine plant in the Fukushima prefecture.

The plant, which has been repaired ahead of schedule, will receive a reinforced foundation at a reported cost of U.S. $37 million. CEO Carlos Ghosn reportedly stated that the facility will be repaired first out of necessity, but added that other plants will be fortified in the future. Ghosn added that the precautions could limit the cost of future calamities.

And while the cost to strengthen the foundation of plants is high, studies show that the next big quake could come sooner than later. Prime Minister Naoto Kan recently shut down the Chubu Electric Power Co. nuclear plant in response to studies that show an 87-percent likelihood of a high-magnitude quake in the next 30 years.

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