Experts commissioned by nuclear watchdog fail to report ¥40 million in funding

JIJI

At least 10 university experts commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority to discuss safety rules failed to report over ¥40 million they received in donations and research funding from the atomic energy industry, sources said Saturday.

They received the undeclared money from power companies, nuclear plant makers and other related entities and had not declared this total as of late October, according to documents reviewed by Jiji Press based on the information disclosure law.

The NRA commissions experts to discuss nuclear safety standards and other regulations, and asks them to disclose the amount of money provided to them since fiscal 2009. The industry watchdog does not verify reports of such funds.

Of the experts who failed to report part of the funding they received, five took part in discussions about new safety measures, two participated in talks on regulatory systems and another two attended meetings on the Fukushima disaster.

According to materials provided by universities to which they belong, Yutaka Abe, a professor at the University of Tsukuba, had the highest unreported amount, at around ¥13.14 million.

That sum consisted of ¥2 million in donations from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., ¥3 million in research funding from Tokyo Electric Power Co. and ¥8.15 million in donations and research funding from JFE Engineering Corp., which makes coolant water storage facilities for nuclear plants.

Yosuke Katsumura, a professor at the University of Tokyo who was a member of a panel on seawater inflows for reactor 5 of Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka plant, ranked second with ¥9.98 million.

The amount he received comprised ¥700,000 in donations from Hitachi Ltd., ¥3 million in research funding from Mitsubishi Heavy and ¥6.28 million in similar funding from the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, a body set up by power companies.

In an interview, Abe said, “I think I reported only what fell under the categories set by the regulation authority.” Katsumura claimed he failed to report some of the funding because it slipped his mind.

  • midnightbrewer

    When I report taxable income I always have great stretches of income that simply slip my mind. It’s perfectly normal. Whoops!