Can't Disclose SPEEDI Data!?

March 23, 2011 2:03 PM

The Nuclear Safety Division of the Japanese government collects nuclear data through a system called SPEEDI (System for Prediction of Environment Emergency Dose Information). In the case of an emergency, the System can simulate radiation exposure by noble gas up to six hours inputting data on meteorological observations, radionuclides, and nuclear emissions.

Since the outbreak of the earthquake/tsunami disaster, I have requested that the government disclose data from SPEEDI, but this has not been done.

Meanwhile, it was the foreign media who showed me the calculation results by SPEEDI (so I'm assuming that there was an information leak?), and they asked me why the data was not disclosed domestically. Because I could not confirm whether or not the data were real, I could not answer them.

On March 23, I called the official residence, the Nuclear Safety Commission, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, only to hear them claim that they have no authority of disclosing SPEEDI data.

When I asked to speak with the department to inquire about the SPEEDI data covering nuclear emergencies, the Ministry - the owner of SPEEDI - responded that they would release nuclear information in a "speedy" manner. Are they mocking me!?

Soon after, the vice-minister answered my phone call and said uncertainly that the SPEEDI department had been transferred to the Nuclear Safety Commission. Not a single person knows who is responsible for or has the authority to disclose data.

To make matters even worse, they claimed that they could not gather meaningful data due to a lack of informational accuracy caused by the disaster. Was this system not supposed to be "speedy?"

Lamentably, a member of the ruling party said in an interview with a major US newspaper that "Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. (TEPCO) is managing well. Japanese nuclear power is certainly safe." This clear lack of seriousness has built up a sense of distrust overseas.