(TOKYO) — 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.
The potential conflict-of-interest is revealed in one sentence buried in a 600-page parliamentary investigation into last year’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant disaster and pointed out to The Associated Press by a medical doctor on the 10-person investigation panel.
The doctor on the parliamentary panel, Hisako Sakiyama, is outraged about utility funding for Japan’s ICRP members. She fears that radiation standards are being set at a lenient level to limit costly evacuations.
Niwa, a professor at Fukushima Medical University, said that residents need to stay in Fukushima if at all possible, partly because they would face discrimination in marriage elsewhere in Japan from what he said were unfounded fears about radiation and genetic defects.
Read more at Japan Scientists Took Utility Money