Japan Gets Nuclear Watchdog: Japan on Wednesday launched a new independent nuclear regulatory body in response to claims that cosy relationships and an overly powerful industry were responsible for the disaster at Fukushima.
But critics charge the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is a watchdog without any teeth and say the installation of an insider, Shunichi Tanaka, to head the organization was a case of business as usual.
Tanaka, who previously served in key positions in entities that contributed to Japan's nuclear energy drive, has pledged to keep his distance from nuclear power plant operators.
The launch of the new nuclear watchdog comes as ministers have suggested the government had not quite fully approved a plan to phase out nuclear energy in the 2030s despite its announcement at the end of last week.
Whether Japan will adopt the goal of zero-nuclear energy by 2040 "will be decided by" experts appointed by the industry ministry, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters.