A former senior official of the Nuclear Regulation Authority held at least 30 meetings with power company executives in violation of the new watchdog’s internal rules, it was learned Saturday.
Tetsuo Nayuki, who served as director general of the NRA secretariat, met with representatives of regional utilities and power firms on his own even though the organization’s regulations prohibit its officials from participating in such meetings alone.
The finding arose through interviews with the nine utilities that operate nuclear power plants, as well as Japan Atomic Power Co., Electric Power Development Co. (J-Power), the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd.
In the four months after the NRA’s launch last September, Nayuki held eight meetings with executives from Japan Atomic Power, seven with Hokuriku Electric Power Co., and four each with Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co., among other huddles with senior power company officials.
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Japan Nuclear Fuel and Chugoku Electric Power Co. refused to give concrete responses, saying they do not have detailed data on possible meetings between Nayuki and their executives.
Nayuki was removed from his post after the revelation earlier this month that he handed Japan Atomic Power a draft report by an NRA team of experts about a critical geological survey of a possibly active fault directly beneath the firm’s Tsuruga nuclear complex in Fukui Prefecture, before the draft was publicly released.
Before Nayuki’s blunder came to light, introductory meetings between NRA officials and power company officials were treated as an exception to the nuclear watchdog’s ban on unaccompanied confabs.