With the nuclear-hazard coverup scandal continuing to swirl around Tokyo Electric Power Co., two advisory panels set up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are stepping up their efforts to douse the controversy.

But experts say the task at hand -- to help the government and utilities regain public trust and put Japan's nuclear power policy back on track -- presents a significant hurdle.

On Friday, one of the panels announced a final draft of its interim report. It calls on METI's Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency to set up a system to smoothly handle alleged accusations about trouble at nuclear plants.