TOKYO — Japan’s nuclear regulator is set to introduce mandatory background checks on students and other personnel using research reactors and other facilities in the country as a measure to prevent terrorism, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority has been discussing with universities and other bodies the plan to check such things as criminal records and history of mental disorders at the 12 facilities nationwide. The NRA will revise related regulations in the current fiscal year, the sources said.
But people related to universities have expressed concern such a policy could hurt the motivation of researchers and also discourage students from studying nuclear energy.
The background checks will be conducted on students, teachers and guards who are able to enter restricted areas where nuclear materials are kept, the source said. Universities and other facility operators will issue a certificate if no issues are found through interviews with them.
In order to use the research reactors and other facilities concerned, at least one certified person will have to be present.
The 12 facilities include the research reactors of Kyoto University, Kindai University, and the Oarai Research and Development Institute of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.