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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cabinet Office team blasted for failing to get to bottom of secret meetings on nuke power, Japan

A Cabinet Office fact-finding team has come under fire for failing to get to the bottom of secret meetings between pro-nuclear officials after it released a report that stopped short of concluding whether the gatherings had influenced policy discussions at the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC).

The team, comprised of 12 members including Cabinet Office Senior Vice Minister Hitoshi Goto, spent about 1 1/2 months on its investigation into secret meetings of JAEC members and others favoring nuclear power.

The team needed to confirm specifically what was discussed at such secret meetings to determine whether and how far the discussions influenced policy decisions at a JAEC subcommittee that was reviewing the nuclear fuel cycle project in which spent nuclear fuel would be reprocessed for reuse in nuclear reactors.

However, attendees and organizers of the secret meetings claimed that no minutes were compiled on any of the gatherings. The team managed to obtain memoranda on the outline of discussions at some meetings submitted by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), which operates the prototype fast-breeder reactor Monju in Fukui Prefecture, the core of the nuclear fuel cycle project. Read More