27 March 2011

WSJ Critiques the Danger of Regulatory Weakness in the Japan Nuclear Industry

The Wall Street Journal has a story that points out the dangers of ownership of the industry which they are charged to regulate.

TOKYO—Japan's nuclear regulator has amassed power while growing closer to the industry it regulates, according to former regulators and industry critics who blame the trend for lapses that may have contributed to the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

Bucking the global standard, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has two distinct and often competing roles: regulating the nuclear power industry, and promoting Japanese nuclear technology at home and abroad.

The setup recalls U.S. regulation of offshore drilling before last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, in which the same agency regulated the industry and promoted offshore oil-and- gas development.

Nuclear Regulator Tied to Industry

In the States, the most powerful banking regulator is the the Fed, which is essentially OWNED by the industry which it purports to regulate. And the last time I looked, the WSJ was part of the choir singing the praises of self regulation of the various segments of the financial sector, taking every opportunity to undermine independent regulation.

And they probably do not get it. You just have to laugh at this kind of irony.

Well, derivatives are a bit like radiation, something resembling a neutron bomb. They kill off the life in a society, while leaving the buildings intact.

Speaking of the extended analogy, Radioactivity 100,000 Times Normal at Fukushima Reactor 2. The good news is that it is not 10 million times normal as reported by TEPCO earlier today.

Reminds one of the recent report on the US banks by the Fed.