A scandal about falsified quality data at Kobe Steel expanded on Friday, as the Japanese steel maker said nine subsidiaries, including several outside Japan, had either failed to carry out required product checks or lied about the results. Including products sold by the subsidiaries, Kobe Steel said it now estimated that it had shipped substandard or potentially substandard materials to 500 customers, up from an initial estimate of 200. “We are trying to understand how this could possibly happen at so many subsidiaries, including overseas,” Kobe Steel’s chief executive, Hiroya Kawasaki, said at a news conference. Mr. Kawasaki repeated a promise to complete in two weeks an investigation into potential safety hazards related to the data falsification, and to deliver in a month the results of a broader examination of the company’s failings, which now look systemic and global. The scandal also touched Japan’s embattled nuclear industry. Tokyo Electric Power, owner of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which experienced meltdowns after a tsunami struck it in 2011, said Friday that it had sourced improperly certified copper piping from Kobe Steel. Tokyo Electric said the piping, which it bought for use at its Fukushima Daini nuclear power station, near Fukushima Daiichi, had not been checked to ensure it met size requirements. But it said the piping had never been installed, and was in storage, and did not pose a safety threat.
New York Times 13th Oct 2017 read more »
Reuters 13th Oct 2017 read more »
Kobe Steel products are widely used inside nuclear reactors in Japan with major safety implications for operating reactors and those due to restart, Greenpeace warned today. Kobe Steel is currently embroiled in a scandal involving the supply of aluminium, copper and steel products. However, for decades Kobe Steel and its subsidiaries have supplied components to the Japanese (and worldwide) nuclear industry. Kobe Steel confirmed late on 13th October, that suspect aluminium and copper tubes had been supplied to TEPCO’s Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, but had not been installed.
NHK 13th Oct 2017 read more »