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"Tainted" donations to universities

January 4, 2013



Universities receive 1.7 bil. yen in donations from power industry



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Eight state-run universities involved in nuclear studies have received donations totaling 1.74 billion yen from utilities and other power industry members in the five years through fiscal 2011, information disclosed upon Kyodo News requests showed Thursday.

As most of the donations were directed to specific researchers, including those participating in the Nuclear Regulation Authority's meeting for setting new standards of nuclear power plant safety, some experts voiced concerns that it could affect the country's regulations.

According to the information disclosed by the universities, the University of Tokyo received the most, with 560 million yen, followed by Tohoku University (417 million yen), Nagoya University (251 million yen) and Kyoto University (212 million yen). The Tokyo Institute of Technology received 104 million yen, Kyushu University 83 million yen, Osaka University 79 million yen and Hokkaido University 38 million yen.

The donated funds were used, among other research-related purposes, to purchase equipment needed in research and to cover researchers' travel expenses when they attended conferences, according to the universities.

The donators included eight utilities, such as Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Japan Atomic Power Co., nuclear reactor makers such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd., and other power-related companies and organizations.

Tokyo Electric no longer makes donations following the nuclear crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant in March 2011.



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