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Head of new nuclear regulatory agency visits Fukushima

8 Comments

The head of the new nuclear safety agency on Thursday visited Fukushima Prefecture to meet with local government officials.

Shunichi Tanaka, an expert in radiation physics, heads the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, an independent body that will be launched on Sept 19. The government hopes that the new safety body will instil more confidence than two current regulatory bodies, both heavily criticized for their cozy ties with the power industry.

Tanaka, 67, a former deputy head of the Cabinet Office's Atomic Energy Commission, was appointed along with four other candidates -- including a reactor expert, a radiology expert, a former ambassador to the United Nations and a seismologist.

On Thursday, Tanaka met with Fukushima Vice Gov Masao Uchihori who asked him to make sure that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident would not "go like the wind" and become a forgotten issue, Fuji TV reported. Tanaka replied that his agency would strive to make nuclear safety standards in Japan the highest in the world.

Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who is also the minister in charge of the nuclear disaster, gave Tanaka and his team their letters of appointment earlier this week.

Critics see some nominees, including Tanaka, as closely linked to the "nuclear village."

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Tanaka replied that his agency would strive to make nuclear safety standards in Japan the highest in the world.

I had actually believed that was true before 3/11 and it was shocking to discover that the safety standards were less than international because power companies put profit before safety.

Basically the "national confidence in nuclear energy" has been destroyed and the power companies only have themselves to blame for that.

The power companies have done more to end nuclear energy than any anti nuclear group but at enormous costs.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

All this guy's going to do is try to bring back the myth that nuclear power is safe, and the reactors that produce it are all safe and should be restart, with project to build new ones restarted as well.

5 ( +4 / -0 )

Critics see some nominees, including Tanaka, as closely linked to the “nuclear village.”

I also guessed right! I actually thought names would be tabled and a panel composed of independent experts interview the candidates, the best candidate should then have been presented to the diet to discuss his value proposition. It is such a sensitive post that the appointment should not have been done in secrecy.

Tanaka replied that his agency would strive to make nuclear safety standards in Japan the highest in the world.

As Tanaka chest-thumps around fukushima, reassuring the bereaved families of so-called nuke security, he should put in mind that Japanese are not looking at nuclear energy for posterity, his verbatim not withstanding. What sounds like music in their ears are words such as compensation, resettlement, elimination of nuclear everything, cleaning up the ecosystem from nuclear waste and radiation, boosting renewable energy sources.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fukushima Worker Tweets: No progress has been made — We don’t know what is really going on inside Reactors 1, 2 and 3

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No doubt he went there, talked to a few Tepco people and concluded that everything was going just swimmingly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You can't "install confidence" about nuclear energy, especially with what happened last year.

They should clear up Fukushima and compensate all people displaced, then that might "reinstall confidence"...slightly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Meant "instil" not "install"...damn predictive text...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let the white washing begin!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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