Fukushima Safety Scientists Paid by Nuclear Operators

Can’t say I am surprised in the least.  From The New Zealand Herald:

Influential Japanese scientists who help set national radiation exposure limits have for years had trips paid for by the country’s nuclear plant operators to attend overseas meetings of the world’s top academic group on radiation safety.

Some of these same scientists have consistently given optimistic assessments about the health risks of radiation, interviews with the scientists and government documents show. Their pivotal role in setting policy after the March 2011 tsunami and ensuing nuclear meltdowns meant the difference between school children playing outside or indoors and families staying or evacuating.

The doctor on the parliamentary panel, Hisako Sakiyama, is outraged about utility funding for Japan’s ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection). She fears that radiation standards are being set at a lenient level to limit costly evacuations.

The Fukushima meltdowns, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, brought a higher level of scrutiny to Japan’s nuclear industry, revealing close ties between the regulators and the regulated. Last month, some members of a panel that sets nuclear plant safety standards acknowledged they received research and other grant money from utility companies and plant manufacturers. The funding is not illegal in Japan.

The parliamentary investigation found that utilities have repeatedly tried to push Japanese ICRP members toward a lenient standard on radiation from as far back as 2007.

Internal records at the Federation of Electric Power Companies obtained by the investigative committee showed officials rejoicing over how their views were getting reflected in ICRP Japan statements.

No one knows for sure what this means, but Yoshiharu Yonekura, president of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences and an ICRP member, brushes off the worries and says such abnormalities are common.

The risk is such a non-concern in his mind that he says with a smile: “Low-dose radiation may be even good for you.”

There is a special place in hell for you Yoshiharu.

Full article here.

In Liberty,

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