More than eight years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a Japanese court has cleared three former executives of the firm operating the plant of professional negligence. It was the only criminal case to arise out of the disaster, which was the worst since Chernobyl in 1986. In 2011 a plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) was hit by a tsunami causing a triple meltdown. More than 470,000 people were evacuated from their homes as a result. Nearly 18,500 died or are missing from the wider disaster. The three former executives – ex-chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 79, and vice-presidents Sakae Muto, 69 and Ichiro Takekuro, 73 – were indicted for failing to implement tsunami countermeasures leading to the deaths of 44 people.
BBC 19th Sept 2019 read more »
“Given the evidence presented on prior knowledge of seismic and tsunami risks available to TEPCO and the decision to ignore that evidence, it should have been a simple case of failing to take action that would have reduced or eliminated the risks at Fukushima Dai-ichi”, said Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist for Greenpeace. “But this is the pre-eminent utility of Japan and a guilty ruling would have been utterly devastating for the nuclear policies of Shinzo Abe [the Japanese prime minister]”, he told The Telegraph. “It is therefore perhaps not a surprise that the court has failed to rule on the evidence”, he added. “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”. Campaigners accuse Tepco and the Japanese government of continuing to refuse to act on warnings of significant seismic hazards at other nuclear reactors in Japan, including the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility, the largest nuclear plant in the world. Tepco is trying to win the support of local people and the regional government to resume operations at the plant.
Telegraph 19th Sept 2019 read more »
Inside Fukushima: Haunting pictures show ravaged nuclear plant 8 years after tsunami.
Mirror 20th Sept 2019 read more »
A court in Japan has acquitted three executives from the firm that operated the Fukushima nuclear power plant, in the only criminal trial to stem from the 2011 disaster.
The Week 19th Sept 2019 read more »