– Chubu Electric: NISA tried to deceive public forum (NHK, July 29, 2011):
Chubu Electric Power Company says the government’s nuclear agency asked it to make sure that questions in favor of nuclear power be asked at a government-sponsored symposium in 2007.
In a report submitted to the government on Friday, the utility said the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency requested that it gather participants and have local residents pose prearranged questions at the forum held in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.
The utility said it refused NISA’s request to arrange the questions, citing difficulties with ensuring compliance. But senior officials of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant sent e-mails to employees and visited affiliate companies in an effort to comply with the request.
An official of Chubu Electric Power Company said on Friday that his firm issued calls to the public to participate in the forum.
He said he doesn’t think the act was an outright breach of the law. But he added that it could have led to the misunderstanding that his firm was trying to manipulate public opinion, and he offered apologies.
The revelation comes after Kyushu Electric Power Company came under fire for submitting fake e-mails in support of a restart of idled nuclear reactors in a government-sponsored meeting for local residents in June.
Following the scandal, the industry ministry ordered the 6 Electric Power Companies to conduct an internal investigation of its activities aimed at winning local support for nuclear power.