In Japan, like the United States, utilities have a lot of influence in politics and regulations, and lobby to delay legislation which affects the bottom line of their nuclear facilities. At Fukushima Daiichi, we have also repeatedly seen the negative effects of constant financially-based decisions both before and after a nuclear disaster.
In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster it has become clear that national nuclear programs still need drastic changes to encourage the sharing of information which can prevent or help mitigate against nuclear accidents.
The nuclear industry also needs to focus energy and manpower on the creation of a common international language and globally standardized approach to prevent nuclear disasters and investigating them.
The IAEA is about as able to provide this role as the now-defunct NISA was in Japan before the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. The IAEA is more focused on the promotion of nuclear power then its regulation and oversight.
Having an international regulator like the IAEA has done little if anything to make national nuclear programs more transparent; they aren’t making much progress in Iran, they couldn’t prevent the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, they didn’t prevent uncertified components from being installed in South Korean nuclear facilities or the Monju fast breeder reactor in Japan.
The fastest way to increase international understanding and competency is through transparency and exchanging information. Without an intrusive international regulator, it is impossible to prevent the type of collusion which lead to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.