Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Japan to set up new nuke regulatory body by next April

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Tokyo: Japan said on Sunday that a new regulatory body for nuclear power generation should be established by next April.

“Given the huge scale of the problem, and that the nature of the (current) arrangement has been called into question, we cannot just leave it as is for two, three years or even longer,” Goshi Hosono, state minister in charge of handling the nuclear crisis, said during a talk show on a TV station.

He said April next year would be “desirable” and he “would like to see a proposal presented in early August.”

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has raised the prospect of making the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency an independent industry watchdog by splitting it from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

On the new organ, Hosono said, “It is important to attempt unification of the nuclear safety agency and the Cabinet Office’s Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan.”

He also suggested that the new body should incorporate the radiation monitoring functions currently under the jurisdiction of the science ministry.

On whether the organ should be an independent commission separate from the government or part of the government, Hosono said, “I wonder if we can bring the benefits of both into one.

I hope it will be a reliable administrative organisation which can also serve the role of communicating views freely.” (Agencies)

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