Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has recently been questioning the wisdom about having the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency as a special organization in the Natural Resources and Energy Agency.
The Natural Resources and Energy Agency, which promotes nuclear energy, is coming under fire as not being a sufficiently objective organization, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
Kyushu University Vice President Hitoshi Yoshioka, a member of the government's accident investigation and examination committee, which has been reviewing data about the 11 March Fukushima nuclear accident, said, "I think the current system, in which the energy agency explains the need for nuclear power and the safety agency backs this up by explaining how safe nuclear power is, goes against common sense. "It's obvious that the safety agency should be separate from and independent of the energy agency. Some drastic changes are needed, including the thinking of our bureaucrats."
Yoshioka has attended nuclear power explanatory meetings for residents living within the zones affected by the radioactivity released from the Fukushima complex.
A former Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry who earlier worked for the Natural Resources and Energy Agency, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that he believed that agency staffers could never take on major enterprises when disagreements arose, observing, "Agency staffers don't usually work there for their whole careers, so there's a limit to the restrictions they can impose on companies."
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com