Friday, January 4, 2013

#Radioactive Japan Under LDP: Government Set to Force Veteran Nuclear Engineers to Retire


Ostensible reasons given are:

  • To save money;

  • To appear in the eyes of Japanese citizens that the national government is serious in eliminating the waste in bureaucracy.


So, the expertise in dealing with matters nuclear is considered "waste" in the post-Fukushima Japan.

And how much money this administration says it could save by forcing these engineers to retire? There are 170 of them, with the average annual salary of 13 million yen (US$149,000) according to Sankei Shinbun article linked below (on page 2 which is not quoted).

Let's see, politicians elected to the National Diet receive 22 million yen per year. They also receive generous benefits like:

  • 12 million yen for transportation, communication;

  • 27 million yen for hiring 3 secretaries (excluding their benefits)

  • 7.8 million yen for maintaining the office


Many politicians say that's pittance, that without this kind of money people without resources cannot run for public office.

Personally, I'd rather have aging nuclear engineers than clueless politicians.

Anyway, here's from Sankei Shinbun (1/4/2013; part):

独立行政法人「原子力安全基盤機構」(JNES)が原子力規制庁に統合される際に、政府が同機構職員の3割以上を占める60歳以上の技術者約170人に一斉に退職を求めることが3日、政府関係者への取材で分かった。統合でJNESの技術者の身分は国家公務員になるが、現在の国家公務員制度では大勢の高齢技術者を雇う仕組みがないためだ。新たな法的措置がなければ、専門知識や技術の喪失につながり、原発の廃炉や審査などに支障が出かねない。

[Sankei Shinbun] talked to the government sources on January 3 and found out that the national government is set to demand about 170 nuclear engineers to retire all at once from the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES), an independent administrative corporation, when JNES gets absorbed into the Nuclear Regulatory Agency. Under the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, these engineers would have to be treated as national public servant. However, under the current Government Officials Act, there is no system to hire a large number of older [above 60] engineers. Without a new legal action, it could lead to the loss of knowledge and expertise, which in turn could interfere with decommissioning and assessment of nuclear power plants.

 昨年9月に発足した原子力規制委員会の事務を担う規制庁には、原発の現場を担う人材が少なく、専門技術を持つJNESと統合することになっている。規制庁発足時から合流する計画だったが、国家公務員を減らす政府方針と逆行するとして統合が遅れていた。

The Nuclear Regulatory Agency, created in September last year to act as the secretariat to the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, lacks staff with the firsthand knowledge of nuclear power plants, and is scheduled to be combined with JNES which has staff with such knowledge. That should have happened when the Nuclear Regulatory Agency was set up, but it has been delayed as it supposedly runs counter to the government policy of reducing the number of national public servants.

 統合の議論は今年から本格化する。原子力関連の独立行政法人の統合を検討してきた内閣官房原子力規制組織等改革推進室は「60歳以上のJNES職員は、原発建設の最盛期を経験している貴重な戦力」との認識だが、政府関係者は「公務員の定員削減が進む中、徹底した合理化を図らなければ国民の理解は得られない」とし、60歳以上の職員の一斉退職を要請するという。

The discussion will begin in earnest this year. The Office for Atomic Energy Regulation and Reorganization Promotion under the Cabinet Secretariat, which has been planning the consolidation of nuclear-related independent administrative corporations, recognizes [these older JNES engineers as] "Invaluable workforce who has experienced the peak construction period of nuclear power plants". However, according to the government sources, "As reduction of government personnel progresses, unless we totally streamline the bureaucracy the Japanese citizens won't be satisfied", and the government will demand that engineers 60 years old and above to retire all at once.


How much dumber these LDP politicians get? A whole lot, I'm afraid.

When the next big nuclear accident happens, whether it's Hamaoka or Monju or Rokkasho, guess who gets to be blamed? Japanese citizens, of course, for supposedly "demanding the cut in government spending on public servants".

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

To save money I hear they are going to replace them with bobble heads so they can get a yes answer anytime they need for just $13 a bobble. The Japanese citizens will surely be blamed after the next accident but you can be sure the bobble heads will also pay.

http://www.entertainmentearth.com/hitlist.asp?collect=Bobble+Heads

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the scenario I described is coming true - "when all the people who understand nuclear technology are gone, the rest of us will be left in the dark and completely screwed".

I didn't imagine humans doing the purging themselves... but I really should have expected it.

Darth 3/11 said...

..."the Japanese citizens won't be satisfied"...streamline yourselves first before you dare touch those senior engineers! Japanese citizens will not be satisfied with this insane, self-serving, utterly baseless in reality, arrogant, wrong-headed course. It's an insult to Japanese citizens, as well.

Vyse Legendaire said...

<- Wrong, Japanese citizens will be satisfied because most of them will not even hear or care about this.

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