Poll won’t dilute our integrity: NRA

Kyodo

The head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority said Wednesday that his organization will not be influenced by the change of government following the Liberal Democratic Party’s landslide victory in Sunday’s general election.

“Whatever (government takes office), we do not intend to change (our nuclear) safety regulations and they will not change,” NRA Chairman Shuichi Tanaka said.

The LDP has said it plans to make a comprehensive decision on the restart of the nation’s idled reactors within three years, a sharp contrast to the Democratic Party of Japan, which it ousted from power Sunday. The DPJ pledged to phase out nuclear energy by the 2030s.

Since the Fukushima meltdown crisis started last year, 48 of the nation’s 50 commercial nuclear reactors remain offline.

Tanaka said politicians give various opinions and their positions can change. Thus “it would be troublesome if safety regulations were changed” based on their views, he added.

Tanaka vowed the NRA will remain independent, and make scientific, professional judgments. Its predecessor, under the nuclear-promoting industry ministry, allegedly was lax on safety.