Four out of the six members on Japanese government panel drafting new nuclear safety regulations each received between three million and 27 million yen in payments, donations and grants from entities in the atomic energy industry in the last three to four years, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said.
But after disclosing the data on Friday, the new nuclear watchdog’s secretariat said all four members “were selected in line with regulations, and there should thus be no problem” over their appointment.
According to the Japan Times, critics, however, cited the risk of their judgment being swayed by power companies and other nuclear-related bodies, and of the possibility that new safety regulations could be watered down.
The NRA requires experts involved in drafting safety standards for nuclear plants and other matters to disclose their remuneration and other payments received, but it has no provision to disqualify them if previously withheld information comes to light, the report said.
The government decided Tuesday to ask customers of Kansai Electric Power Co. to cut power usage by more than 10 percent and customers of Kyushu Electric Power Co. to reduce their electricity consumption by 5 percent this winter.
For the December-March period, the government said the supply-demand situation will "not be as serious as this summer" nationwide.
But due to the idling of nuclear reactors, the power supply capacity of Kansai Electric could be as much as 9.5 percent below peak demand and Kyushu Electric up to 2.2 percent short.
Kansai Electric Power Co. has finished building Japan’s largest solar power plant, a 10,000-kilowatt facility in Osaka Prefecture capable of generating enough electricity to run about 3,000 households.
It has also started testing a system with a cluster of nickel hydrate batteries that can store and supply power in a stable manner, the company said Wednesday.
The cluster, set up in a transformer station near the solar facility in the waterfront area of Sakai, is capable of storing some 100 kwh.