NISA covering nuke meetings in greater detail

Kyodo

Ever since it was revealed that the government’s nuclear safety agency failed to keep minutes of crucial meetings on the nuclear crisis, staff have been meticulously recording all of its news conferences, an official said Saturday.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has been keeping detailed records to share information disclosed during news conferences with other government agencies, the official said.

NISA also released a roughly 2,000-page document Saturday, covering the period from March 13 through last October, following a freedom of information request by Kyodo News.

After being harshly criticized over its lack of record-keeping at key meetings while the Fukushima disaster unfolded, NISA in March released a 76-page summary of 23 meetings based on recordings of conversations among attendees and memos they jotted down at the time.

After the March 2011 natural disasters sparked Japan’s worst nuclear accident, the agency held 28 news conferences in the first five days after the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Nuclear Safety Commission, under the Cabinet Office, did not take part in any of them.

But the document seen by Kyodo fails to include a news conference held March 12, a day after the quake-tsunami disasters, at which a senior NISA official for the first time referred to the possibility that some of the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant may have suffered meltdowns.

The official’s remarks reportedly prompted the prime minister’s office to complain about the lack of information-sharing over the nuclear disaster among government bodies.