Saturday, July 28, 2012

Secrecy Around All Matters Nuclear



Cabinet Office official deleted emails on secret meetings of pro-nuclear parties. The Mainichi

[Excerpted] "An official of the Cabinet Office, who chaired secret meetings of pro-nuclear power members of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), deleted most of the emails on such gatherings before he stepped down, sources close to the case said."

Majia Here: Secret meetings seem to be the norm with nuclear issues in Japan (and the US). 

I don't know what the deleted emails concerned but I wonder whether they are connected with a secret meeting convened in the spring of 2012 that was stacked with nuclear industry representatives.

The participants in that secret meeting recommended that the central government resume processing of plutonium, despite Japan’s huge existing stockpiles.[i] 

The decision to resume plutonium production comes after the decision to scuttle Japan’s breeder reactor program. 

Thus, the decision to resume plutonium production may be a sign to other international players that Japan intends to maintain the viability of a nuclear weapons program. This policy runs counter to popular will within Japan and would thereby signify another illustration of the subordination of democratic self-determination by the people of Japan. 

Japan’s nuclear energy program has been explicitly linked to its “national security” in recent legislation; although, the meaning of national security remains somewhat ambiguous.

On June 23, 2012, The Mainichi newspaper, argued in an editorial that a national security clause embedded into Japan’s Atomic Energy Basic Law passed on June 20, 2012 must be deleted because of its links to nuclear:

[Excerpted[ The amendment has fueled speculations about its true aim. Some wonder whether the interpretation of the clause could be stretched to open the way for nuclear weapons development. Others question whether the clause is aimed at underscoring the effectiveness of the development and use of atomic power for nuclear power plants and other purposes....[ii]

The clause was added by Japan’s largest opposition party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Mainichi reports “Some LDP legislators insist that Japan should maintain its high-level nuclear technology and demonstrate to the world its capability to develop nuclear weapons as a potential deterrent, linking atomic energy to national security.

Majia here: The point is that where nuclear is involved secrecy follows.

Nuclear is a fundamentally anti-democratic technology and the reason is that if the people (citizens) truly understood the dangers, they would not support it.



[i]      The Black Box of Japan's Nuclear Power http://www.japanfocus.org/events/view/151.
     

[ii]   National security clause must be deleted from law on atomic energy (Editorial). The Mainich (2012, June 23),  http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20120623p2a00m0na009000c.html.

          

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