Gov’t presents candidates for nuclear regulatory body commissioners via Global Post

The government on Tuesday presented to the parliament two professors as candidates to replace incumbent commissioners of the Nuclear Regulation Authority whose terms will end in September.

If approved by the Diet, Satoru Tanaka, a University of Tokyo professor seen to be in favor of the use of nuclear power, and Akira Ishiwatari, a Tohoku University Professor and geologist, will replace Kunihiko Shimazaki, a seismologist, and Kenzo Oshima, former ambassador to the United Nations.
Some pro-nuclear lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have been against retaining Shimazaki, who has taken a tough stance against nuclear power plant operators on whether their preparations against earthquake and tsunami hazards are sufficient.

Tanaka said in a statement that, if officially appointed, he is determined to “make use of past experiences as much as possible,” while reflecting on the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Ishiwatari, meanwhile, said he takes the fact “seriously” that he was tapped as an NRA commissioner at a time when public concern is “extremely high with regard to ensuring the safety of nuclear power.”

The NRA was launched in September 2012, as Japan overhauled the nuclear regulatory setup in the wake of the nuclear crisis, triggered by a huge earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Three other NRA commissioners, including Chairman Shunichi Tanaka, will not change as their terms have been set longer.

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