Japan punts on nuclear policy reform

Plans for a new policy on nuclear energy were put on hold as Japan's Atomic Energy Commission stopped working on its policy outline

Tokyo, October 3, 2012 — Plans for a new policy on nuclear energy were put on hold as Japan's Atomic Energy Commission stopped working on its policy outline.

The commission scrapped a subgroup consisting of nuclear energy experts that had worked to provide the outline. This decision came after the Japanese government decided Sept. 14 to give its Energy and Environment Council the central role in setting nuclear energy policy.

The government's decision called for deciding the fate of the commission itself, including its possible abolition. The commission said it is fitting to halt work on a new energy policy outline as Japan is changing its system to discuss nuclear policy.

Since its establishment in 1956, the commission has set a nuclear energy policy outline for the country. The review to the organization marks a major change to nuclear energy administration of the nation hit by the devastating accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last year.

The subgroup was created in November 2010. Its deliberations on the policy outline have been suspended since May 2012, pending a government decision on how nuclear energy policy should be crafted.

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