Sixteen pieces of data relating to the underground disposal of highly radioactive waste generated by nuclear reactors, which scandal-hit Kobe Steel Ltd. and a subsidiary analyzed at the request of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), were falsified, forged or flawed in other ways, the nuclear research organization said.
The government-affiliated JAEA, which commissioned Kobe Steel and its subsidiary Kobelco Research Institute Inc. to analyze data on the impact of burying highly radioactive waste deep underground, has demanded that the steelmaker redo the work.
Kobe Steel expressed regret over the matter. "We'll do our best to prevent a recurrence," said a company official.
According to the JAEA, the data in question includes that on the corrosion of metal used for cladding tubes and containers for spent nuclear fuel. Between fiscal 2012 and 2016, the Nuclear Regulation Authority and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) commissioned the JAEA to conduct the analyses, and the agency farmed out the work to the steelmaker and its subsidiary.
JAEA officials said most of the data was not accompanied by records of experiments conducted in the analyses, or had intentionally been altered.
According to METI's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy and other sources, the report detailing the results of the analyses will be partially corrected following the discovery of the data falsification.