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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

What is to become of the Atomic Energy Commission?

October 2, 2012



Atomic panel quits nuclear policy work



A government panel in Japan is calling off work to formulate a new policy outline on nuclear energy. Drafting the outline was the Atomic Energy Commission's main duty for more than 50 years.

The commission met on Tuesday and decided to disband a conference of experts that had been reviewing the outline since 2010.

In response to last year's Fukushima nuclear accident, the government in September announced future nuclear energy policy would be decided by a ministerial conference on energy and the environment.

Commission members told the meeting that given the new energy policy, the commission's role would have to change.

Some said they regretted having to disband a conference of nuclear experts.

The Atomic Energy Commission has been formulating nuclear energy guidelines about once every 5 years since 1956. The task has been regarded as the commission's most important duty.

Observers say the commission -- a key proponent of nuclear power -- will now come under wholesale review. They say disbanding the organization is among the possible options.

The government's new energy policy calls for all resources available to be invested in efforts to realize a country free from nuclear power in the 2030s. But the policy also allows for a conditional restarting of existing nuclear plants and continued recycling of nuclear fuel.

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