Carnegie’s Richard Meserve Appointed Adviser to Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority

Washington, D.C.—Richard A. Meserve, the president of the Carnegie Institution, has been invited to be an “international adviser” to the Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority (JNRA). As a result of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the Japanese government established the JNRA in order to provide independent oversight of the nuclear industry. In addition to Meserve, Andre-Claude Lacoste, the just-retired chairman of the French regulatory authority, and Michael Weightman, the head of the regulatory authority in the UK, were invited to serve as international advisers.


The group met with the JNRA commissioners in mid-December in a public meeting in Tokyo. Meserve made a presentation that described some of the fundamental characteristics that the commissioners should seek to establish for the JNRA—independence, competence, openness to input from all stakeholders, transparency in the decision-making process, adequate resources, and stability. He stressed that the overall objective should be to seek a safety culture within the JNRA and among the regulated community in which safety is the highest priority and is an individual and institutional responsibility.


During his time in Japan, President Meserve also gave a keynote address at a Fukushima Ministerial Conference, an event sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Japanese Government. The address focused on the lessons that have been learned as a result of the Fukushima accident. The text is available at this link.


President Meserve is a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He is chairman of the International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG), which is chartered by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and of the DOE’s Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee. He served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future that was established by Secretary Chu at the request of the President.

The Carnegie Institution for Science ( is a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with six research departments throughout the U.S. Since its founding in 1902, the Carnegie Institution has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.