Thursday, May 24, 2012

JAEC had secret 'study meeting' of nuclear advocates to draft reprocessing policy report

The Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) invited only pro-nuclear people from government and power industry bodies to have a secret "study meeting" on April 24 to draft a report on the country's policy of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, it has been learned.

At the study meeting, a draft report with a cover sheet which read "Handle with care" was handed out to about 30 participants. The "Overall Evaluation" in the draft report -- the conclusion of the report -- was then rewritten in such a way as to make it in favor of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel in accordance with the wishes of power companies before it was submitted to a JAEC subcommittee. While the government has been emphasizing its plan to review the country's nuclear policy from scratch, the revelation highlights the fact that the policy-making process has been distorted.

The JAEC subcommittee incorporated the amended version of the overall evaluation into its report and presented it to the "council of new national energy policy" chaired by JAEC Chairman Shunsuke Kondo on May 23. The report is to be presented to the government's Energy and Environment Council soon.

The Mainichi obtained 79 pages of A-4 size documents. "For use for 4/24 Study Meeting" is written on the upper right of the cover of the documents, with the title: "The Technical Subcommittee on Nuclear Power, Nuclear Fuel Cycle, etc. (the 13th round)." The documents were the draft version of the report that was scheduled to be discussed on April 27.

The secret study meeting was held for about two hours from shortly after 5 p.m. on April 24 at the Central Government Building No.4 in Tokyo's Kasumigaseki district where JAEC is located. Read More