the Government of Japan and Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES)
The only legally mandated, independent nuclear industry inspection body in Japan copied nuclear fuel inspection criteria directly from documents provided by the company making the fuel, the Mainichi has discovered. Why doesn’t that surprise anyone? Seems like this is the way to do things for the Government of Japan. It is clearly showing that the Politicians don’t care about their citizens. Sure they talk and they sound great, but the only thing that matters is : what do they actually do. This must have been one of the biggest jokes among all of the politicians. Too bad this one ended up with a Fukushima nuclear disaster. The suffering of the victims both human and animal do not matter to these Politicians, that is very clear. It should be clear to all the citizens next time they have to vote. I hope that they will remember this:
Nuclear safety body used inspection criteria drafted by nuclear fuel firm
The only legally mandated, independent nuclear industry inspection body in Japan copied nuclear fuel inspection criteria directly from documents provided by the company making the fuel, the Mainichi has discovered.
The documents, obtained by the Mainichi through repeated official information requests, show that the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES) copied an inspection manual verbatim from materials it ordered Global Nuclear Fuel Japan Co. to create. Global Nuclear Fuel is one of the firms subject to JNES checks.
The legally mandated JNES inspections are based on official manuals which include a list of inspection procedures and pass criteria. The Mainichi obtained the manual for a check of nuclear fuel scheduled for delivery to Higashidori nuclear plant in Aomori Prefecture. The Mainichi also obtained a draft inspection procedure document — listing inspection goals, items, methods for sampling fuel lots, and fuel rod measurements — created by the fuel shipment’s maker, Global Nuclear Fuel.
Except for the cover and first page, the JNES manual and the Global Nuclear Fuel document were identical, even down to the page format and font.
JNES deputy head of inspections Masaharu Kudo had previously told the Mainichi that “we do receive data (from Global Nuclear Fuel), but of course we don’t use it as-is. The JNES checks the data and produces its own manual as well.”
After the Mainichi compared the JNES manual and the Global Nuclear Fuel document — finally obtained after two official information requests — Kudo admitted the documents were the same, but denied there was any problem with the practice, saying the JNES and the nuclear fuel firm “consult with each other in drawing up the inspection procedures, so of course the draft and the manual will be identical.
“The JNES would have no access to the necessary data without the nuclear fuel maker, so we ask them to cooperate,” Kudo continued. “It wouldn’t be impossible for the JNES to draw up the manuals independently, but if we tried we’d be at it all day.”
According to the safety organization, it received the Global Nuclear Fuel draft inspection procedures in electronic form in September 2008, and on Dec. 18 the same year JNES staff inspected fuel that was to be shipped to the Higashidori nuclear plant using a manual copied directly from the Global Nuclear Fuel document.
Furthermore, JNES staff noticed later that the minimum fuel rod length already reported to the government was 3 to 5 centimeters longer than the value listed in both the inspection manual and the Global Nuclear Fuel draft procedures. JNES staff had not in fact looked at the manual, but compared the rods to another Global Nuclear Fuel document to confirm the rods were the proper length before issuing a passing grade for the shipment.
The error in the manual was found in February 2009, just before the JNES reported to the government that the fuel had passed inspection. After an internal investigation, the JNES discovered it had made the same mistake three times when checking Global Nuclear Fuel products. The organization had already certified all three shipments.
“The nuclear fuel firm also carries out internal checks, so there’s no problem with asking them to draw up draft inspection procedures for their own products,” Kudo said. “If we found any mistakes in the drafts, we corrected them.”
(Mainichi Japan) November 2, 2011