Nuclear Regulation Authority
|Nuclear Regulation Authority|
|Formed||September 19, 2012|
|Headquarters||9-9, Roppongi 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 106-8450|
|Ministers responsible||Goshi Hosono, Minister of the Environment
Katsuhiko Yokomitsu, Senior Vice Minister
|Agency executive||Shunichi Tanaka, Secretary General|
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (English name) (Japanese name: 原子力規制委員会 Genshiryoku Kisei Iinkai, which means Nuclear Regulation Commission, which is also a Japanese translation of the name of the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission?) is an administrative body of the Cabinet of Japan established on September 19, 2012 to ensure nuclear safety in Japan. Its first head is Shunichi Tanaka. It is part of the Ministry of the Environment.
The NRA was formed from the Nuclear Safety Commission, which came under the authority of the Cabinet, and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which was under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). After the Fukushima nuclear disaster following the March 11, 2011 earthquake the government's safety measures were seen to be inadequate. Also, NISA being under the umbrella of METI, which was also responsible for promoting the use of nuclear power, was seen as being a conflict of interest. As a consequence, the new agency was established under the Ministry of the Environment.
According to the law establishing the NRA, the task of working out new nuclear safety rules must be completed within ten months of its September 19, 2012 launch. Chairman Tanaka said that the authority was determined to undertake a radical review of the existing safety standards and planned to finish the outline of the safety rules by the end of 2012.
Guidelines changed for iodine-tablets in case of a nuclear disaster
On 19 July 2013 the NRA updated its guidelines for the distribution and use of stabilized iodine tablets. Under the old rules designed in 2002 by the former regulator NSA iodine tablets were recommended up to the age of 40 years. These former guidelines were based on studies done on the health of the atom-bomb survivors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Later studies however showed that although older people had less risk to develop cancer, the cancer risk was not zero. Therefore the 40 year age limit was abandoned. Because of the tablets were needed for approximately 4.8 million people living within 30 kilometers of a nuclear reactor, implementation could take some time, because only one pharmaceutical firm in Japan was available for the production. Distribution would be started soon, and local governments were ordered to hold briefings for their residents. The NRA warned that the use of iodine tablets could cause hypothyroidism, a slow functioning thyroid gland.
- Nuclear Regulation Authority website index | Nuclear Regulation Authority Retrieved on September 22, 2012
- The Daily Yomiuri Nuclear regulatory body faces mountain of urgent tasks September 21, 2012 Retrieved on September 22, 2012
- Asashi Shimbun Japan gets a new nuclear safety body, now needs to write rules September 20, 2012 Retrieved on September 24, 2012
- The Daily Yomiuri NRA chief: 'No plant restarts before summer' September 26, 2012 Retrieved on September 26, 2012
- The Mainichi Shimbun (20 July 2013) Recommendation for iodine tablets in case of nuclear disaster expanded to all ages