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Japanese Government Endorses Plan for New Nuclear Regulator

Plant Status

  • Levels of radioactive cesium near the seawater intake area of Fukushima Daiichi reactors 2 and 3 have fallen below the safety limit, Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported over the weekend.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • The Japanese cabinet has endorsed a plan to establish a new nuclear energy agency that would take over the regulatory functions of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which is now under the industry ministry that also promotes nuclear energy. The new agency, to be set up under the environment ministry, will also carry out the advisory functions of the Nuclear Safety Commission and the radiation monitoring functions now being performed by the science ministry. The government plans to launch the agency in April 2012.
  • With more than 70 percent of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors shut down for inspections, energy companies are experiencing rising prices for conventional fuels used to produce electricity. As utility companies have compensated for the electricity shortfall by increasing the operation of their non-nuclear plants, the costs of oil, natural gas and other fuels have increased by up to 60 percent from the previous year.

Media Highlights

Upcoming Events

  • The Fukushima subcommittee of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards will hold a public meeting Aug. 16 to review the agency’s near-term task force report on the events at Fukushima.

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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First