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The Yomiuri on Nayuki's discharge

February 3, 2013

N-safety official fired over leak

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has dismissed a senior official of its secretariat because he gave a copy of a report about possible earthquake faults at a nuclear power plant to executives of the company operating the plant.

Tetsuo Nayuki, a director general of the Secretariat of the NRA, gave the document to executives of Japan Atomic Power Co. before its official release, according to the NRA.

The report is about the results of inspections of so-called crush zones suspected to be active faults in the precincts of the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.

The NRA reprimanded Nayuki and discharged him from the post effective Friday.

Hideka Morimoto, deputy secretary general of the Secretariat of the NRA, said at a press conference, "The action was too careless for an official of the regulatory organization, who should always remain neutral."

But he said the NRA will not further investigate the case because it was "due to the actions of an individual."

According to Morimoto and other sources, the document was a copy of a draft report of an assessment in which the NRA's expert team concluded that faults running beneath the plant's reactor buildings are highly likely active.

The conclusion was first unveiled at an assessment meeting held Monday.

Nayuki was one of three directors general of the Secretariat of the NRA, the authority's No. 3 positions after the secretary general and the deputy secretary general.

He was in charge of nuclear regulation policy for safety guidelines about earthquakes and tsunami.

He also helped prepare the draft report based on results of on-site inspections and debates at the assessment meeting as a coordinator for the team of experts.

On Jan. 22, six days before the assessment meeting, three officials of Japan Atomic Power, including its managing director, visited the office of the Secretariat of the NRA for what they said was a "courtesy call." Nayuki met them in his office and handed over the document.

On Jan. 23, Nayuki voluntarily told NRA officials that he had given the document to the company executives.

The Secretariat of the NRA removed him from all duties on the same day. After Nayuki was questioned by the secretariat, the NRA quoted him as saying, "I wanted to make debates at the assessment meeting fruitful."

But Morimoto would not answer questions about why Nayuki handed over the document or how Japan Atomic Power used it. He said, "I don't know the details."

Secretariat rules stipulate that when its officials meet with businesspeople:

-- Appointments should be made in advance.

-- At least two officials should attend the meeting.

-- Details of the meeting should be transcribed.

The NRA said Nayuki's meeting with Japan Atomic Power executives was an exception because it was only a courtesy call.

But because Nayuki handed over a document before its official release and because it dealt with issues related to business interests, the NRA said that it concluded his action risked damaging the NRA's trustworthiness.

The NRA reprimanded Nayuki based on the internal rules and recommended he be transferred to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, where he worked before the Secretariat of the NRA was established. Nayuki was not punished under the National Civil Service Law.

As to why Nayuki was not punished, Morimoto said, "The document handed to Japan Atomic Power was a summary of debates held at the assessment meetings, which were open to the public. Thus it's not subject to a confidentiality requirement."

Japan Atomic Power, based in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Friday acknowledged its executives asked Nayuki to provide a copy of the draft report in advance.

The company issued a statement that said: "We obtained the document believing it was provided with the approval of NRA officials. Our company has not made requests or taken any other actions since seeing the document."



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