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Nuclear Regulation Authority changes 'safety standards' to 'guidelines'

19 Comments

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has announced that it is to relabel its new nuclear safety standards.

The NRA announced Wednesday that it is to change the name of the guidelines it is drawing up for the operators of nuclear power plants. A regulatory committee member voiced the concern that calling the guidelines the "New Safety Standards" may lead members of the public to the misunderstanding that following the guidelines ensures the safety of nuclear power plants. As a result the new rules have been renamed "Regulatory Guidelines," TBS reported.

"Following the guidelines does not ensure safety. Rather, adhering to the guidelines is a sign that the operator is attempting to mitigate potential dangers," said NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka.

The new regulatory guidelines are scheduled to be finalized by July.

The NRA also announced that nuclear reactors more than 40 years old will be subject to special inspections before they will be allowed to go back online.

In principle, reactors more than 40 years old are supposed to be decommissioned, but 20-year extensions will be allowed if the reactors pass strict safety checks.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated that the government will give the OK for nuclear reactors to be restarted if their safety is assured. He said the government must learn the lessons of the Fukushima disaster, and insisted that the government will never compromise on safety.

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19 Comments
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........ and next year from 'guidelines' to , 'meh whatever!'

4 ( +5 / -1 )

First, they state this, Nuclear Regulation Authority changes 'safety standards' to 'guidelines'

And then, they state this, but 20-year extensions will be allowed if the reactors pass strict safety checks.

I smell a rat and not the one that took out the power at Dai-Ichi last week! It seems that, once again, they are opening up loop holes to suit themselves. Is there anything in this country that is not open to corruption?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

LOL! I thought Tepco didnt have any more money to bribe........sigh

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Changing a "standard" to a "guideline"... wow talk about failure

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As if their ability to evade liability was not ironclad enough already!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And so the watering down of standards begins.... Once LDP wins a majority in the summer election watch them start back pedalling on the stricter regulations that Kan and DPJ were able to put in place ( probably the only substantial thing DPJ actually achieved ) and move full steam ahead towards N restarts all the while insisting that there will be" no compromise " and Japan will be the " world leader in nuclear safety standards" or "guidelines " or whatever it will be by then of course... The corrupted nuclear village here really is like a cancer that is almost impossible to get rid off. Guess all this was to be expected with the good old LDP back in the drivers seat.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wonder what's happen next, if another incident like Fukushima is happen, and later they find out guidelines have been bent or not been used - as standards would have to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I kind of understand their point even if it is probably tatemae , that merely following Standards does not ensure safety. But if that's so, shouldn't you have a Standard and a set of additional Guidelines?

And then, they state this, but 20-year extensions will be allowed if the reactors pass strict safety checks.

I agree with Disillusioned - in principal there is nothing wrong with allowing conditional extension if the plant condition is indeed good, but it is too easy to abuse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah, the world's number 4 worst liars at it again. This is just paving the way for making excuses as to why they can restart outdated, dangerous reactors on fault lines without them having to meet any 'standards'. The 'guidelines' the operators will follow will be the same as always; accept the fat paycheques, hand a bit to the government, complain there's not enough for compensation, then get your escape route ready for when the time comes to run.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Guidelines? Yeah, that's gonna work much better. sarcasm

A better idea would be laws the violation of which constitutes a felony with mandatory prison sentences starting at a minimum of 20 years for violators and everyone up the chain of command above them. Plus, if any reactor happens to get out of control, then mandatory death sentences.

That should get them to pay attention to what they're doing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't want to over-react to what may be splitting hairs, but it does sound like they are giving themselves risky 'wriggle room', for those plants that want to save a few bucks on safety measures. After what happened, you'd think they would be a lot more strict, especially for those older reactors, with presumably more primitive safety features.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Next step: "Helpful Hints on Nuclear Safety." They can get a Friday columnist to write it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't care whether there are called standards or guidelines. What is important is whether they are mandatory or mere recommendations. Unfortunately the article leaves us in the dark. By intention or has it got lost in translation?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a wishy-washy pile of crap. Have they learned nothing? They should be nailing these regulations down and casting them in iron. Instead they propose this get-out-of-jail-we-never-promised-it-was-safe crap. If they can't do better after multiple melt-downs then what hope is there? Really.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now they're just mocking us. They know they can do whatever they want (or sit back and relax as Japan gets irradiated to hell) and get away with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Accident at Fukushima is not dead even one person. Two people died in a nuclear power plant is due to tsunami. Meltdown happened because the power was cut off by the tsunami. It is because he is also shed further emergency power.

If you want to read this book if you can read Japanese. It is a story of the people who work in the corresponding plant. I think I can read the mind of the Japanese mind and to protect the country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I forgot the link. sorry. http://www.php.co.jp/books/detail.php?isbn=978-4-569-80835-2

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Changing a "standard" to a "guideline" implies changing a requirement to a recommendation to me. Maybe the NRA doesn't think that there can be safety requirement for Japanese nuclear plants. Follow these guidelines and cross your fingers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why not change "guidelines" to "rules", then there would be no "confusion" over whether the rules had to be followed, or not?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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