Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is to review its inspection system for NPPs and in future will carry out safety inspections without prior notice to plant operators. NRA inspections are currently scheduled in advance, including four safety checks a year. During its assessment of the authority in January, the International Atomic Energy Agency pointed out that Japanese regulators need to increase the efficacy of their inspections. NRA will set up a panel in May to discuss the matter. It hopes to submit related legislation to parliament in February 2017 with the aim of introducing a new checking system from 2020.