Japan has improved nuclear oversight, but skills fall short, IAEA inspectors say


Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency say Japan’s nuclear safety regulation has improved since the 2011 Fukushima disaster but it still needs to strengthen inspections and staff competency.

It is the first IAEA review for the Nuclear Regulation Authority since its establishment in 2012. Japan adopted stricter safety requirements for plant operators, but there has been no change to the law stipulating on-site inspections.

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 NRA to enhance inspection competence. It also called on the government to amend its nuclear safety law to make on-site safety checks more effective and flexible.