TEPCO Blacks Out Critical Information on Fukushima Severe Accident Report

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The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has submitted its accident manuals to a Diet committee with most of the contents blacked out.

The Lower House special committee investigating the nuclear disaster has asked the industry ministry to order the utility to resubmit the manuals in their original form, as required by law.

The committee had asked TEPCO to submit its procedural manuals for accidents by the end of last week.

On September 12, TEPCO submitted the front cover and the table of contents of the document “Operation Manual for Reactor 1 (Severe Accident)”, 3 pages total, with 48 lines out of 50 were blacked out. All the lawmakers in the committee could read was “fire extinguishing line” and “inert gas”.

The committee had asked TEPCO to submit its procedural manuals for accidents by the end of last week.

The company turned in manuals that had been heavily redacted.

Then, on Monday, it presented 3 pages, including a cover sheet, containing an index of actions to be taken in serious accidents.

But most of the index was blacked out and TEPCO collected the papers immediately after the meeting.

The company explained that its manuals contain restricted information covered by intellectual property rights.

It said the information cannot be made public because nuclear materials must be safeguarded.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the ministry says it will consider what action to take.

TEPCO’s Matsumoto explained that the manual is a company’s internal document and not for public consumption, and the company has to protect intellectual properties and the physical protection of nuclear facilities.

It appears that TEPCO is following instruction from NISA, and NISA makes no effort to have the information disclosed.

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