Japan vows to overhaul nuclear safety reporting

THE Japanese government said yesterday that it will set up an independent nuclear regulatory agency, breaking the widely criticised ties between the Japanese utility industry and officials overseeing its safety.

In a report that will be presented to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the government calls for overhauls in how Japan operates its nuclear plants.

Japan has also been criticised for not disclosing key information about the plant and the amount of radiation that successive explosions produced.

The report said that there is a possibility that melted fuel has penetrated the reactor pressure vessels in three units and dropped into the primary containment vessel, after the nuclear safety agency said its estimate of the radiation released so far during the crisis was double its earlier estimate.