Head of new nuclear regulatory agency visits Fukushima
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.”