Nuke regulatory reform easier said than done via The Japan Times Online

VIENNA — Japan faces renewed pressure this week from the International Atomic Energy Agency to rethink its nuclear safety regulatory system, which has been attacked for allowing overly close ties between the watchdog agency and the ministry promoting atomic power.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda reiterated the government’s plan to separate the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency from METI at a high-level IAEA conference in Vienna Monday, but doubts linger whether the painful experience of the Fukushima nuclear crisis will lead to the creation of a more reliable regulatory system.

Experts have said a change in organizational structure alone will hardly be enough, while people close to the nuclear business suggest it may not be easy to break the often-criticized ties between METI and the entities that oversee nuclear power plant safety.

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