A new law authorizing the establishment of a new nuclear regulatory agency was enacted in the upper house of the Diet on Wednesday. The law to set up the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was approved by the lower house last Friday.
The 5-member commission, which will be established by September, is part of a drive to improve safety and restore public trust after last year’s nuclear disaster. It will be independent of the government and will final authority over technical issues relating to Japan’s nuclear power plants.
The new body will replace the industry ministry’s heavily-criticized Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and the cabinet’s oversight commission.
Some local authorities had cited the new regulator as a precondition for restarting Japan’s idled reactors.
Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who is also the minister in charge of dealing with the nuclear crisis, said he was confident the new commission would take into account the lessons from Fukushima, TV Asahi reported.