Japan’s nuclear watchdog has decided to make operators of nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities check the background of their workers to prevent terror attacks.
Following the recommendation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority will introduce the new regulation in late September, although the actual implementation is expected to be from next year or later due to necessary procedures, such a revision of the rules regarding the handling of nuclear materials.
It is also unclear how the new measure will be effective in preventing terrorism as the operators will conduct the background checks based on information workers provide themselves, rather than by referrals to police or other law enforcement authorities.
The regulation will cover employees and subcontracting workers who enter restricted areas where nuclear materials are kept and those who have access to important information at the facilities.
Under the system, operators will make the workers submit a copy of their resident registry and a written oath stating they have no association with terrorist organizations or crime syndicates. Employees will also be asked where they have traveled overseas, whether they have committed any crime in the past and whether they have a history of drug addiction.
Another tragicomic, infuriating chapter: will the operators be as careful/less as when checking into worker exposure levels? And what about exposure of the general public through continued residence, certainly driven by government policy? Is that not terrorism?