Japan to set up new nuclear watchdog

Aug 12, 2011
Japan will set up a new nuclear regulator under the environment ministry in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, in a bid to give the watchdog more teeth, media reported Friday.

Japan will set up a new nuclear regulator under the environment ministry in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, in a bid to give the watchdog more teeth, media reported Friday.

The existing Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has been criticised following the March 11 disaster for failing to police the industry strictly and therefore increasing the risk of safety lapses.

NISA is part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which actively promotes nuclear power and the export of Japanese .

The new agency under the environment ministry, which will have several hundred officials and may be called the Nuclear Safety Agency, is expected to be up and running by April.

Japan's massive quake and tsunami five months ago crippled the coastal Fukushima Daiichi plant, sparking a series of meltdowns, explosions and the ongoing release of radiation into the environment.

Centre-left Prime Minister Naoto Kan has advocated a gradual phasing out of nuclear power in the quake-prone volcanic island nation, which previously used for about 30 percent of its energy needs.

Last week the government fired three top nuclear officials over their handling of the radiation crisis, which sparked mass evacuations and led to the contamination of foodstuffs including tea, vegetables, milk and beef.

More than two-thirds of Japan's 54 reactors are now offline and undergoing safety checks, with their restarts dependent on approval from host communities, many of which are now deeply skeptical about nuclear safety.

NISA has come under fire for its cozy ties with the industry and the body has attracted additional criticism for seeking to swing popular opinion by planting pro-nuclear questions at public forums.

Cabinet members agreed Friday to set up the new body under the environment agency, ahead of a formal announcement Monday, Kyodo News agency reported.

Explore further: Cooling the cloud: Ph.D. student sets sights on improving data-center efficiency

Related Stories

Japan vows to continue nuclear plant exports

Aug 05, 2011

Japan said Friday it will continue exporting atomic power plants, despite uncertainty over its own use of them as it continues to grapple with a crisis at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.

Japan denies censorship over nuclear crisis

Jul 29, 2011

Japan on Friday denied that a government project to monitor online news reports and Twitter posts about the Fukushima nuclear crisis was an attempt to censor negative information and views.

GE defends nuclear plant design

Mar 18, 2011

General Electric defended its 40 year old Mark 1 reactors at the center of Japan's nuclear crisis Friday, saying that early questions about reactor's safety had long been addressed.

IAEA warned Japan over nuclear quake risk: WikiLeaks

Mar 17, 2011

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned Japan two years ago that a strong earthquake could pose a "serious problem" for its nuclear power stations, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported.

Recommended for you

New methods to study sound generated by wind power plants

16 hours ago

A new two-year research project on sound produced by wind power plants was launched at Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT in May. In the study, the formation and dissemination of sound from wind power generators, ...

Hycopter stores energy in form of hydrogen, not air

May 20, 2015

Singapore-based Horizon Unmanned Systems (HUS) this month introduced the hycopter, which they said is the world's first hydrogen fuel cell-powered multi-rotor UAV. It uses refillable hydrogen tubes as part ...

Spark electric car's price sparks a sales run

May 20, 2015

It took a price cut to generate a run on Chevrolet's 2015 Spark EV, with savvy car buyers realizing the lower price and federal electric vehicle tax credit can make for a super deal.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.