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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 February 27 - March 5  > JCP Kami demands transparency from nuclear research center
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2013 February 27 - March 5 [ENVIRONMENT]

JCP Kami demands transparency from nuclear research center

March 3, 2013
Japanese Communist Party Upper House member Kami Tomoko on March 1 made representations to the atomic energy agency criticizing it for failing to provide information about an accident at its research facility to local residents.

The accident occurred at the Horonobe Underground Research Center in Horonobe Town, northern Hokkaido. The center carries out research and development on geological disposal of high-level radioactive wastes and drilling operations are underway for a tunnel 350 meters below ground.

In early February, the experimental drift had a rise in methane levels and a groundwater leak which was twice as much in leakage as ever before. However, the accident was not made public to local residents.

In her representations to the science ministry and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency which administrates and operates the research center, Kami criticized the two organizations for not putting top priority on residents’ safety and information disclosure, and demanded thorough investigations into the causes of the accident and the enforcement of information transparency.

A science ministry official replied that their awareness was insufficient and they installed measures to improve information disclosure.

The deputy director of the research center promised that they will take swift action, promote transparency, and hold more explanatory meetings for residents.
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