nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Conflict of interest as new Commissioners joing Japan’s nuclear regulator

conflict-of-interestNRA conflict rule ignored by Abe administration

When the Democratic Party of Japan established the NRA, then–prime minister Naoto Kan implemented a rule to prevent conflicts of interest. It stopped anyone from becoming an NRA commissioner who had been employed by a nuclear organization in the three preceding years, which was defined as someone receiving $5,000 per year from the nuclear industry during that time period.

It appears that the Liberal Democratic Party has ignored that rule.

 

in-bedPost-Fukushima nuke watchdog outrages Japanese, Straight,com  NRA appointee Satoru Tanaka’s financial ties to the nuclear industry provoke howls from environmentalists and opposition politicians by MARTIN DUNPHY on JUN 13, 2014 JAPAN’S PARLIAMENT, THE Diet, approved a controversial government appointee to the country’s nuclear watchdog agency on Wednesday (June 11).

Satoru Tanaka, a 64-year-old professor of nuclear engineering, will start his job as commissioner with the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in September.

The staunch supporter of nuclear power has deep ties to the nuclear industry and has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from affiliated companies over the years.

The appointment—protested loudly from political-opposition and environmentalist quarters—comes against a backdrop of growing pressure from government and industry to restart many of the country’s 48 offline commercial nuclear reactors.

The NRA must review and approve all nuclear-reactor startups……….

The outgoing commissioners served two-year terms; the new terms are for five years. The two other commissioners’ three-year terms expire in 2015, and NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka’s five-year tenure ends in 2017. It is widely expected that the ruling Shinzō Abe administration will then appoint Satoru Tanaka as chair.

Ishiwatari is taking the place of commissioner Kenzo Oshima, 71, a former undersecretary-general at the UN.

It is the appointment of Tanaka, though, and the pending retirement of the person he is replacing, Kunihiko Shimazaki, that has led to accusations of bias, especially from opposition politicians, anti-nuclear activists, and Fukushima Prefecture residents and evacuees.

Fukushima residents angered

Hiroaki Kanno, 66, a Fukushima doctor who evacuated from Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, told the Asahi Shimbun on June 11: “The personnel replacement is advantageous to those who want to restart reactors, and will render the current nuclear regulations ineffective.”

Another Fukushima Prefecture resident, former teacher Ruiko Muto, 60, from Tamura, said Abe is breaking rules introduced by the previous administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan. “It is lunacy that the Abe administration is attempting to appoint Tanaka, an obviously ineligible figure, as commissioner,” she told the left-of-centre Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second-largest newspaper………

Activists say NRA compromised

Tomoko Abe, an antinuclear politician and alternative-energy activist, told Reuters news agency on June 10: “Bringing someone like [Tanaka] on as a regulator changes the fundamental role of the NRA. This nomination could undermine the very role of the regulator.”

And antinuclear activist Tetsunari Iida, executive director of Japan’s Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, also told the news agency: “The main objective of this shuffle is to remove commissioner Shimazaki. The industry would never be satisfied if he wasn’t replaced.”…….

Appointee received nuclear-industry cash

The Xinhua news agency reported on June 11 that the DPJ and six other, smaller parties voted as an opposition bloc, in vain, against Tanaka’s appointment due to alleged “financial improprieties with energy-related organizations, including Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex”.

Tanaka, a professor since 1994 in the University of Tokyo’s department of nuclear engineering and management, is a former president of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, a former chair of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, and, according to World Nuclear News (June 10), has advised a research foundation supported by TEPCO. Asahi Shimbun has reported that Tanaka also served on METI nuclear-energy committees.

What has many critics upset regarding Tanaka’s NRA appointment are reports (Japan Times, June 7) that TEPCO donated about $1,170,000 over four years (2008 to 2011) to support a University of Tokyo nuclear-fuel-cycle course taught by Tanaka to train people for the industry (the course was dropped after the Fukushima crisis).

“Research grants” came from nuke builders As well, a Reuters public-information request to Tokyo University revealed that between 2004 and 2010, Tanaka received research grants totalling $58,500 from Hitachi Ltd.’s nuclear division, Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy Ltd., and Electric Power Development Co. Ltd., which is building a nuclear plant in northern Japan. And Japan’s Jiji news service reported that the TEPCO Memorial Foundation (set up by Tokyo Electric Power’s predecessor company) paid Tanaka about $30,000 over five years until March 31, 2012.

In addition, the professor accepted almost $20,000 from Taiheiyo Consultant Co., a company that researches disposal of nuclear waste…….

NRA conflict rule ignored by Abe administration

When the Democratic Party of Japan established the NRA, then–prime minister Naoto Kan implemented a rule to prevent conflicts of interest. It stopped anyone from becoming an NRA commissioner who had been employed by a nuclear organization in the three preceding years, which was defined as someone receiving $5,000 per year from the nuclear industry during that time period.

It appears that the Liberal Democratic Party has ignored that rule.

Tanaka has not responded to most requests for interviews, and when he has spoken he has not answered questions about his suitability as an unbiased candidate for NRA commissioner.http://www.straight.com/news/665951/post-fukushima-nuke-watchdog-outrages-japanese

 

About these ads

June 16, 2014 - Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties

1 Comment »

  1. […] “When the Democratic Party of Japan established the NRA, then–prime minister Naoto Kan implemented a rule to prevent conflicts of interest. It stopped anyone from becoming an NRA commissioner who had been employed by a nuclear organization in the three preceding years, which was defined as someone receiving $5,000 per year from the nuclear industry during that time period. It appears that the Liberal Democratic Party has ignored that rule.” http://nuclear-news.net/2014/06/16/conflict-of-interest-as-new-commissioners-joing-japans-nuclear-re… […]

    Pingback by Japan’s Betrayal of Amaterasu: Nothing Like the Sun | Mining Awareness Plus | June 21, 2014 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 875 other followers

%d bloggers like this: