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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise


July 17, 2012


Another utility employee speaks at nuclear energy hearing, draws flak



NAGOYA (Kyodo) -- At the third meeting sponsored by the government to hear citizens' views on future energy policy on Monday, an official of Chubu Electric Power Co. was picked in a limited quota of speakers and drew flak for expressing a pro-nuclear opinion from some members of the audience, although it was given as a view of a private citizen.

Similar criticism was expressed at the second meeting in Sendai city on Sunday where a ranking official of Tohoku Electric Power Co. expressed a pro-nuclear position.

On Monday, the third speaker started his speech by identifying himself as "an employee of Chubu Electric Power" but saying he is attending as a private citizen, nonetheless creating a tense atmosphere in the venue, with one person in the audience saying, "Is this again manipulation?"

The employee said, "No one died from the direct impact of radiation after the accident at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. This situation will not change five or 10 years later."

Another speaker was found to be an employee of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, which runs the Monju fast breeder reactor project, and said he is skeptical if renewable energy can offer a stable supply of electricity. He did not disclose his affiliation when he spoke.

The secretariat of the event said the nine speakers were selected randomly. Three each are selected to give views on each of the government's three options for energy mix where nuclear power accounts for zero percent, 15 percent or 20 to 25 percent.

The secretariat said a total of 161 applied to speak and 106 were for zero percent, 18 for 15 percent and 37 for 20 to 25 percent.

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