Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Separating the regulators from the promoters: in Japan, it took a nuclear disaster

There's a telling passage in the 10/17/11 LETTER FROM FUKUSHIMA in the New Yorker, headlined The Fallout : Seven months later: Japan’s nuclear predicament.

The full article's not online, but this passage appears near the end of the article, summarizing some of the policy reaction:
The Japanese government ordered an initial round of stress tests--simulated disasters--for most of the nation's nuclear reactors. It passed a tariff that promotes the use of renewable energy sources, which had withered during the heyday of the nuclear program. And, in an important legal change, it moved to separate the regulators in charge of policing the plants from the industrial ministry in charge of promoting them.
(Emphasis added)

Hm--will it take a non-radiation version of a nuclear disaster in New York to separate the agency in charge of promoting a project like Atlantic Yards from the agency that oversees its environmental impact?

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