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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 November 7 - 13  > Nuclear regulatory experts receive donations from nuclear power industries
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2012 November 7 - 13 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Nuclear regulatory experts receive donations from nuclear power industries

November 7, 2012
Akahata reported that 4 out of 6 experts appointed to a team to review nuclear safety standards set up by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) received a total of about 60 million yen in donations and research funding from nuclear-related industries.

This revelation has created much controversy over the appointment of these 4 experts as members of the team required to establish stricter nuclear safety standards.

The four are: Abe Yutaka, professor at Tsukuba University; Yamaguchi Akira, professor at Osaka University; Yamamoto Akio, professor at Nagoya University; and Sugiyama Tomoyuki, senior scientist of the Nuclear Safety Research Center of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

The NRA on November 2 released documents regarding economic ties between the 6 experts and nuclear-related companies. In the documents, the 6 experts voluntarily disclosed information about the amount of money given to them by nuclear power companies as donations, retainers, and funds for collaborative projects.

The amount of money from nuclear industries to the 4 experts in question totaled 51.72 million yen. Using the freedom of information law, Akahata found out that they received additional financial assistance. If these are included, the total reaches 58.96 million yen.

Among the four, Tsukuba University professor Abe has received from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries one million yen in donations annually since 2006. Mitsubishi has also donated the same amount as Abe to Osaka University professor Yamaguchi since 2009. The company’s donations to the 2 professors have continued even after the Fukushima nuclear accident last year.

Yamaguchi has accepted donations from the Japan Atomic Power Company (500,000 yen since 2006) and the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum’s local organization in the Kansai region. This organization has donated money also to Nagoya University professor Yamamoto.

The NRA’s team consists of 16 members, including 6 outside experts, 5 from the administrative body of the NRA, and 4 from the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization.
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