Three former top executives at the Tokyo Electric Power Co have been found not guilty of professional negligence resulting in injury or death in a trial relating to the 2011 disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. According to local reports, the Tokyo district court ruled in favour of the three men: former Tepco chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and former deputy presidents Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto. The judgement makes it unlikely that anybody will ever be found criminally liable over the meltdown of three nuclear plants and the resulting evacuation of thousands of families, many of which have been unable to return. The three men are the only people who have been charged in relation to the disaster, which occurred when a massive earthquake triggered a tsunami, overwhelming flood defences and knocking out cooling pumps at the nuclear plant. Crucial issues in the case were whether the men were warned of the risk of a tsunami that was higher than the plant’s seawall and whether they could have acted to avert the disaster if they had followed such warnings.
FT 19th Sept 2019 read more »
Greenpeace accused Japan’s legal system of failing to protect the right of tens of thousands of people affected by the Fukushima meltdown. Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany, said a guilty verdict would have dealt a “devastating blow” to Tepco, the pro-nuclear government of prime minister Shinzo Abe and Japan’s nuclear industry. “It is therefore perhaps not a surprise that the court has failed to rule based on the evidence,” Burnie, who is currently in Tokyo, said in a statement. “More than eight years after the start of this catastrophe, Tepco and the government are still avoiding being held to full account for their decades of ignoring the science of nuclear risks.”
Guardian 19th Sept 2019 read more »
Greenpeace Japan 19th Sept 2019 read more »
BBC 19th Sept 2019 read more »
At the present time, over a million tonnes of tritium-contaminated water are being held in about a thousand tanks at the site of the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power station in Japan. This is being added to at the rate of ~300 tonnes a day from the water being pumped to keep cool the melted nuclear fuels from the three destroyed reactors at Fukushima. Therefore new tanks are having to build each week to cope with the influx. These problems constitute a sharp reminder to the world’s media that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima did not end in 2011 and is continuing with no end in sight. Recently TEPCO / Japanese Government have been proposing to dilute, then dump, some or all of these tritium-contaminated waters from Fukushima into the sea off the coast of Japan. This has been opposed by Japanese fishermen and environment groups.
Ian Fairlie 18th Sept 2019 read more »