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

What "neutrality" ?

March 26, 2012




Nuclear industry group paid 7.9 million yen to 4 scholars on Fukui panel

FUKUI -- An Osaka-based nuclear power industry group with strong ties to Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) paid four members of a 12-member Fukui prefectural nuclear safety advisory panel a total of 7.9 million yen in contributions between fiscal 2006 and 2010, the Mainichi has learned.

The Fukui prefectural panel is tasked with giving Fukui Prefecture, home to over a dozen nuclear reactors, technical advice, including guidance related to decisions on the restart of idled KEPCO nuclear power plants.

According to the Osaka-based Kansai nuclear power council (Kan Gen Kon), it gave the money to the four in the form of research grants. They are Fukui University professor Yoshinobu Izumi, who received 300,000 yen in fiscal 2010, Osaka University professor Kazutoshi Nishimoto, who received 3.6 million yen between fiscal 2006 and 2008, former Kyoto University professor Kaichiro Mishima who received 3 million yen between 2006 and 2007 and Nagoya University professor Akio Yamamoto, who received 1 million yen between fiscal 2009 and 2010.

A KEPCO board member normally chairs the Kan Gen Kon and KEPCO serves as a corporate member. The Kan Gen Kon says it is giving research grants to scholars who have made contributions to the promotion of nuclear power and the use of radiation and are conducting promising research. It added it is operating independently of KEPCO.

The Fukui prefectural panel stipulates only that the governor will request experts to be on the panel without requiring them to report on contributions from the nuclear power industry and other details.

The governmental Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan asks prospective members of the commission to voluntarily report their relations with the electric power industry and other details to ensure neutrality in their screenings of nuclear issues.

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