22 Janvier 2016
January 22, 2016
TOKYO (AP) -- A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency says Japan's nuclear safety regulation has improved since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, but it still needs to strengthen inspections and staff competency.
It's the first IAEA review for the authority since it was established in 2012. Japan adopted stricter safety requirement for plant operators, but the law stipulating on-site inspections has remained unchanged.
The 17-member team, which concluded a 12-day inspection that included the wrecked Fukushima plant, said Friday that Japan's regulatory body demonstrated independence and transparency -- crucial elements lacking before the disaster, when a separate agency was in charge.
The team urged the Nuclear Regulation Authority to enhance inspection competence and Japan's government to amend its nuclear safety law to make on-site safety checks more effective and flexible.
Jan. 22, 2016 - Updated 08:22 UTC+1
The International Atomic Energy Agency says Japan's nuclear regulator has been independent and transparent since its launch, but needs better screening and expertise.
The IAEA held hearings on Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority since January 11th for its first assessment of the regulator.
The authority was established one year after the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The UN watchdog conducts such assessments of regulatory frameworks for nuclear and radiation safety at the request of member countries.
The agency provided an outline of its assessment on Friday, the last day of the procedure.
It said the authority is transparent and independent of nuclear plant promoters, and has tightened its safety measures. But it called on the regulator to work to attract competent and experienced staff and enhance its skills regarding nuclear and radiation safety.
The agency also advised that the regulator's inspection procedures be made more flexible to allow for focusing inspections on key facilities.
Assessment team leader Philippe Jamet said his team recommended that Japan adopt more top experts, as many of the country's nuclear power stations are to resume operation. Jamet is the commissioner of the French Nuclear Safety Authority.
The team plans to compile an official report in April.