Typhoon disaster in Japan, TEPCO, government fail

This 9 September 2019 video says about itself:

Typhoon Faxai lashes Tokyo, cutting power and transport

Japan is reeling from a powerful typhoon that has killed at least two people and injured dozens. Typhoon Faxai slammed into the greater Tokyo area and pounded the region with strong winds and torrential rain. Around 2,000 people had to be ordered to evacuate because of the danger of landslides. More than 130 flights were cancelled and many train lines were closed for hours, disrupting commute for millions.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Twelve days after the hurricane Faxai, 45,000 households in Japan are still without electric power. The Japanese energy company TEPCO reports this.

This is the same TEPCO which refused to pay for anti-tsunami measures at the Fukushima nuclear plant; which led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster which still continues.

In the country there is criticism of the repair work after the natural disaster.

TEPCO admits that the effects of the hurricane have been underestimated. “It’s worse than we thought”, says a spokesman. According to him, some affected areas were only reached late and it turned out that many posts and power lines had fallen over.

12,000 TEPCO employees were sent to the affected Chiba region, east of Tokyo, to repair the damage. But according to the energy company, it will take until at least 27 September until the power supply will be completely restored.

Poorly prepared

The major electricity problems are partly due to the fact that almost all power lines in Japan are above ground, but Japanese experts also think that the government and utility corporations were poorly prepared.

“They were too optimistic and did not start from the worst case scenario,” says a retired professor who specializes in disaster management. According to him, tree branches could, for example, have been preventively cut off so that they could not fall on the cables.

A government spokesman disagrees with the criticism. …

This is the right-wing Abe government which is in denial about the gravity of the Fukushima disaster.

More homes damaged

Faxai achieved wind speeds of more than 200 kilometers per hour. There was also a lot of rain. After the hurricane a dead person was reported: a woman was blown against a wall by the strong wind.

Initially it was reported that 4000 houses were damaged in the Chiba region, but that number has been adjusted to 20,000. Residents tell Japanese media that things are tough after the disaster. “Many houses still have no electricity and the roofs have been washed away. People live on the ground floors and make the best of it.”

After the hurricane a heat wave broke out, while due to power outages many air conditioners did not work. Two people died of heat stroke.

Accidents during recovery

Also, three people have died since the hurricane due to accidents in repairing their homes. More than a hundred people were injured. Many victims fell from great heights while repairing their roofs. Among the dead is a 94-year-old man who fell off his roof.

Fukushima nuclear disaster is still continuing

This video says about itself:

Ground zero at Fukushima nuclear power plant | 60 Minutes Australia

When Japan was rocked by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, we told ourselves the worst was behind us. Tens of thousands dead, an economy shattered, whole communities razed. Surely the Japanese had suffered enough. But as Liz Hayes discovered when she travelled to ground zero weeks later, the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is still leaking. And judging from the experience at Chernobyl, recovery won’t be measured in years. More like centuries.

By Ryusei Takahashi, The Japan Times:

Eight years after triple nuclear meltdown, Fukushima No. 1’s water woes show no signs of ebbing

OKUMA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Nearly a thousand storage tanks are scattered across the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, holding a staggering 1.1 million tons of treated water used to keep its melted reactor cores cool while they rust in the sun.

Plant manager Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., or Tepco, plans to build more of the gigantic tanks to hold another 0.27 million tons, which is roughly the equivalent of 108 Olympic-size swimming pools. The new tanks are expected reach full capacity in four or five years.

Each tank takes seven to 10 days to fill and holds between 1,000 to 1,200 tons of liquid, Tepco officials told reporters during a tour in February organized by the Japan National Press Club. It’s been eight years since Fukushima No. 1 suffered three core meltdowns triggered by tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake, but the situation with the tanks may be a sign Tepco has yet to get the facility under control.

“Space isn’t a big issue at this point in time, but five or 10 years from now, after we’ve started removing the melted fuel debris, we’re going to need facilities to store and preserve it,” Akira Ono, president of Fukushima No. 1 Decontamination and Decommissioning Engineering Co., a Tepco unit overseeing the decommissioning process, said at a news conference in January.

The water issue is eating up both space and resources, but a solution is unlikely to emerge anytime soon.”

Fukushima: Japan will have to dump radioactive water into Pacific, minister says. Posted on September 10, 2019. More than a million tonnes of contaminated water lies in storage but power company says it will run out of space by 2022: here.

Nuclear fuel debris removal at Fukushima plant could start with No. 2 reactor — The Japan Times: here.

Japan will have to dump radioactive water into Pacific, minister says — The Guardian: here.

Tepco refused tsunami safety test before Fukushima disaster

TEPCO cartoon

From the Japan Times:

Tepco refused safety agency’s proposal to simulate Fukushima tsunami nine years before meltdown disaster

by Reiji Yoshida

Staff Writer

Jan 30, 2018

Nine years before the 2011 meltdown crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. turned down a request from the government’s nuclear watchdog for it to conduct a simulation of powerful tsunami that could hit the plant, a court document showed on Tuesday.

Written testimony was submitted to the Chiba District Court on Nov. 24 by Shuji Kawahara, who was head of a team responsible for quake safety issues at the now-defunct Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) — the predecessor of today’s Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Kawahara’s testimony showed that Tepco may have missed an opportunity to examine the possibility of a tsunami disaster almost a decade before such a crisis came to pass in 2011, when massive waves knocked out critical cooling systems at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

The testimony was submitted as part of a lawsuit filed by Fukushima evacuees seeking compensation from the utility and the central government.

The crippled plant has spewed a massive amount of radioactive material into its surroundings, forcing numerous residents to temporarily evacuate. Many have completely abandoned their hometowns.

Contacted by The Japan Times, Tepco spokesman Norio Okura declined to comment, saying “the matter is related to the ongoing lawsuit.”

In the court documents, Kawahara maintains that NISA asked Tepco to conduct a tsunami simulation in August 2002, highlighting emails that summarize discussions at NISA-Tepco meetings that were sent to related parties later the same month.

NISA made the request because a government expert committee for quake research published on July 31, 2002, a report warning that a major tsunami event could hit anywhere along the Pacific coast of Japan, Kawahara said in the statement.

The report concluded that a major tsunami could hit somewhere along the coastal areas from Tohoku to Chiba Prefecture, with a probability of 20 percent over the next 30 years.

Tepco representatives visited NISA officials on Aug. 5 to discuss the report. But Tepco officials “resisted for 40 minutes” during the meeting and eventually turned down NISA’s request, according to a copy of Kawahara’s written statement, seen by The Japan Times on Tuesday.

In the statement, Kawahara said he believes Tepco rejected the request because “it would take substantial time and expense to carry out a simulation”, and because there was no evidence strongly suggesting such a quake and tsunami could actually hit the Fukushima plant.

Rejecting the proposal, Tepco officials cited a research paper written by two seismologists who played down the possibility of such a quake-tsunami disaster, according to Kawahara.

NISA didn’t override Tepco’s refusal. …

In the spring of 2008, Tepco conducted a simulation and concluded that tsunami as high as 15.7 meters could hit the Fukushima plant. But the firm still did not take action before the 2011 disaster, instead saying the simulation was based on a hypothetical scenario and that there was no evidence suggesting such powerful tsunami would actually engulf the Tohoku region.

In its ruling on Sept. 22, Chiba District Court denied any central government responsibility but ordered Tepco — now Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. — to pay additional compensation of ¥376 million to 42 evacuees. Both Tepco and the plaintiff have appealed to a higher court.

Tepco fat cats refused anti-tsunami measures at Fukushima before disaster

This video from Japan says about itself:

Relationship between Yakuza gangs and TEPCO has become the closer for the accident

22 October 2011

Syunsuke Yamaoka, representative of Access Journal, entered the site of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant illegally with a helping hand of the worker there and found Yakuza gangs arranged jobs there, especially jobs inside the buildings which would make the workers’ life get at stake and that the relationship between Yakuza gangs and TEPCO had got closer than before the accident.

And he wrote a book ‘Fukushima Daiichi Genpatu Sennyuki(Book of Infiltration into Fukushima Daiichi Nuke Plant)’ about that with interviews with three workers working there.

From the Japan Times: Tokyo Electric Power Co. turned down requests in 2009 by the nuclear safety agency to consider concrete steps against tsunami waves at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which suffered a tsunami-triggered disaster two years later, government documents showed Friday.

Tepco admits they concealed the fact of meltdown: here.

Fukushima disaster TEPCO fat cats waste taxpayers’ money

TEPCO cartoon

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Japan: Tepco has wasted Fukushima cash

Wednesday 25th March 2015

JAPANESE government auditors said yesterday that Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) has wasted more than a third of the 190 billion yen (£1.07bn) of taxpayer money allocated for cleaning up the destroyed plant.

They also said the clean-up work has been dominated by a small group of utility, construction and electronics giants despite repeated calls for competitive bids.

Tepco spokesman Teruaki Kobayashi insisted all the equipment used had contributed to stabilising the plant.

However, the auditors drew attention to expensive failures including a 32 bn yen (£180 million) machine made by French firm Areva to remove radioactive cesium from water leaking from the wrecked reactors.

The machine lasted just three months and treated only a tiny fraction of the volume leaking every day.

They also pointed to cooling machines costing 18.4bn yen (£100.7m) from companies including Hitachi, Toshiba and Areva.

One functioned for five days and the longest lasted just six weeks.

See also here.

This punk rock music video from Japan is called FUCK TEPCO!!/SCRAP. The band Scrap consists of people who lost everything in the Fukushima disaster.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. in 2008 recognized the “indispensable” need for countermeasures against a towering tsunami at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, but it ended up doing nothing, an internal document showed: here.

KARIWA, Niigata Prefecture–The father of pro-nuclear Kariwa Mayor Hiroo Shinada is a director of a company that received contracts worth millions of yen for work at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co: here.

Fukushima disaster continues, Japanese government in denial

This video says about itself:

Interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, Editor of “Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe” recorded September 26, 2014.

By Ben McGrath:

Four years after Fukushima disaster, government to restart Japan’s nuclear plants

19 March 2015

Four years after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of northern Japan, the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is still decades from being decommissioned and environmental problems continue to mount. As the anniversary passed last week, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was planning to reopen the nation’s nuclear plants despite widespread public opposition and ongoing safety concerns.

Japan’s 48 nuclear plants have been offline since September 2013. The plants were shut down following the partial meltdowns at the Fukushima plant. Reactors 3 and 4 at Kansai Electric Power Company’s Ōi plant in Fukui Prefecture, were restarted in July 2012, before being closed again the following year.

Opinion polls have consistently shown that the majority of people do not want the plants to be reactivated. Prime Minister Abe, however, is pushing ahead, under pressure from the electric companies. “We cannot go zero-nuclear based on the opinion polls alone,” Abe told parliament in February. Before the disaster, Japan relied on nuclear energy for 30 percent of its power needs.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) president Naomi Hirose stated in February that the restart of its Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant was crucial to maintaining profits. “Even as Kashiwazaki Kariwa remains offline, we posted a profit last year and can probably do so again this year,” Hirose said. “I wouldn’t say there won’t be the third time, but we cannot expect it can last forever.” The plant is located 220 kilometers northwest of Tokyo. TEPCO is the owner of the crippled Fukushima plant.

Four years after the disaster, radiation leaks from the Fukushima plant have not been stopped. TEPCO confirmed last month that radioactive material was still seeping into the ocean. The company was aware of the problem last May, but delayed reporting it. Rainwater, which had pooled on a roof of the plant, was contaminated before leaking into the ocean through a gutter. The water contained radiation levels 10 times higher than water from other sections of the plant’s roof.

Earlier this month, TEPCO admitted that 750 tons of contaminated water had overflowed from storage areas containing tanks. Large quantities of water have to be continuously injected into the reactors because their cooling systems were badly damaged during the disaster. As it repeatedly did prior to the catastrophe, the company is continuing to put its profits ahead of public health and safety.

The disaster occurred on March 11, 2011 when the Tōhoku earthquake, which registered a magnitude of 9.0, struck off the Pacific coast of central Japan, creating a 15-meter tsunami. The massive wave crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi plant, sweeping over an inadequate seawall and knocking out all power and emergency generators.

The cores of three of the plant’s six reactors quickly overheated as cooling systems shut down. Rapid action by workers in finding ways to inject water into the reactors prevented a catastrophic total meltdown. However, hydrogen gas explosions damaged the reactor buildings and substantial amounts of radiation escaped into the environment, including from a damaged fuel rod storage tank atop a fourth reactor.

Despite the scale of the disaster, the Abe government is pressing ahead with restarting nuclear plants with only nominal changes to the regulatory regime and safety standards. Two reactors at the Sendai nuclear plant are due to reopen this year, possibly in June. The plant, located in the southern Kagoshima Prefecture, is operated by Kyushu Electric Power Company. It received approval to resume operations last November following a vote by the prefecture’s assembly.

For residents in the region around the Fukushima plant, the nightmare is continuing. In 2011, people were often evacuated in a haphazard manner, with the affected zones expanding several times in one day. In some cases, residents were unaware that they were moved into high radiation areas. According to the Japanese government, 230,000 people are still displaced and of those 80,000 are living in temporary housing.

Cancer rates are expected to rise considerably for those exposed to the radiation. The World Health Organization stated in 2013 that among people exposed to radiation as infants there is a 7 percent higher risk of males and 6 percent higher risk of females of developing leukemia and breast cancer respectively.

Children are also highly susceptible to developing thyroid cancer. Checkups are being conducted on the 367,707 people under the age of 18 living in the Fukushima Prefecture when the meltdowns occurred at the power plant. Children born afterward have also been tested. More than 100 confirmed or suspected cases of thyroid cancer have been reported. Typically, only about 1 to 9 cases of cancer are expected among 1 million children.

Some doctors have questioned these findings, saying that thyroid cancer often presents no symptoms and that the increased numbers are due to increased testing. Undoubtedly, the government and TEPCO will seize on these comments to deny responsibility for the health effects caused by the Fukushima disaster.

Megumi Muto, a mother of two children exposed to radiation, expressed the concerns and anger many parents are feeling. “They had rashes on their bodies then nose bleeds. My son’s white cells have decreased and they both have incredible fatigue,” Muto said. “They may not have cancer now but they both have multiple nodules around their thyroids. I’m really worried.”

No-one has been held accountable for the negligence and lack of safety measures at the plant before the earthquake and tsunami struck. Reactivating nuclear plants without adequate safety measures in one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world is only setting the stage for future disasters.

Japanese boss sends teenager to radioactive Fukushima

This video says about itself:

Atomic mafia: Yakuza cleaning up Fukushima

4 December 2013

Homeless men employed to clean up the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, including those brought in by Japan’s yakuza gangsters, were not aware of the health risks they were taking and say their bosses treated them like “disposable people.”

An investigative journalist who went undercover at Fukushima, filming with a camera hidden in his watch, says that many of the workers were brought into the nuclear plant by Japan’s organized crime syndicate. Because the Japanese government has been reluctant to invite multinational workers into the country, its nuclear industry mostly uses cheap domestic labor.

These so-called “nuclear gypsies” are homeless men from the Sanya neighborhood of Tokyo and Kamagasaki. “Working conditions in the nuclear industry have always been bad,” the deputy director of Osaka’s Hannan Chuo Hospital, Saburo Murata, told Reuters. “Problems with money, outsourced recruitment, lack of proper health insurance — these have existed for decades.” The problem is that after Japan’s parliament approved a bill to fund decontamination work in August 2011, the law did not apply existing rules regulating the profitable construction industry.

Therefore, contractors engaged in decontamination, were not required to share information on their management, so anyone could instantly become a nuclear contractor.

From the Japan Times:

Construction firm exec arrested for sending teen to help Fukushima cleanup

Kyodo, Reuters

Aichi Prefectural Police arrested a construction firm executive on Wednesday for sending a 15-year-old boy to help clean up radioactive waste outside the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.

The police said the boy, who is from Kitanagoya, Aichi Prefecture, was sent to Fukushima to cut contaminated leaves and scrape up dirt in the disaster zone last July.

Japan’s labor law prohibits people under 18 from working in radioactive areas.

Police arrested Yuji Chiba, 49, who is in charge of the company’s labor management and is responsible for the cleanup operations.

The boy started to work at the company in April after graduating from junior high school. He began to clean up the radioactive waste in July, but escaped from the job after working for about five days. He was ordered to lie about his age.

The boy said his former employer had lowered his wages to just ¥3,000 a day and hit him when he did not work hard enough.

Workers cleaning up villages in Fukushima are supposed to receive a special hazard allowance equivalent to about ¥9,000 a day from the government, in addition to their wages.

The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami badly damaged the Fukushima No. 1 plant, sparked a triple nuclear meltdown, forced more than 160,000 residents to flee nearby towns and contaminated water, food and air.

Thousands of workers have been clearing radioactive waste from towns closest to the plant over the past four years.

Japan’s traditional subcontracting structure in the construction industry opened up lucrative cleanup contracts in Fukushima to multiple layers of smaller companies that regularly skim workers’ pay.

This video says about itself:

22 February 2015

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has detected high levels of radioactive substances in a drainage channel on the plant’s premises on Sunday. The Tokyo Electric Power Company is investigating the cause.

TEPCO says the plant’s alarm system went off around 10 AM. It showed a rise in radioactivity in the channel that leads to a nearby port.

Measurements showed that levels of beta-ray emitting substances, which are not detected under normal circumstances, had risen to up to 7,230 Becquerels per liter.

The figure is 10 times higher than when rain causes the level to rise temporarily.

The utility suspects that contaminated water in the channel may have leaked into the port.

It has suspended all operations to transfer contaminated water and closed a gate of the channel by the port.

The drainage channel used to be connected to a section of coast beyond the port. TEPCO rerouted it after a series of leaks in 2013.

See also here.

Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture slammed Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday after it emerged that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific near the Fukushima No. 1 plant and that Tepco did nothing to prevent it despite learning of the leak last May: here.

Fukushima workers to sue TEPCO fat cats

This video from Japan is called Nuclear Watch: Fukushima workers to sue demanding it pay wages suited for the dangerous work 9/1/2014.

From NHK World in Japan:

Fukushima Daiichi workers to sue TEPCO

Workers at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are planning to sue Tokyo Electric Power Company, demanding it pay wages suited for the dangerous work.

Four male workers at a TEPCO subcontractor will file a lawsuit at the Iwaki branch of the Fukushima district court on Wednesday.

The workers are doing plumbing work on tanks that store radioactive water at the plant.

They say their wages are too low considering the risk of radiation exposure they face. The workers are demanding TEPCO pay each of them about 96-thousand dollars in compensation.

They say their wages haven’t changed even after TEPCO announced an increase in labor payments to subcontractors by around 96 dollars last November.

One of the plaintiffs in his 30s said he is worried about his health because his monthly radiation exposure levels sometimes exceed 4 millisieverts.

He said though he had been reluctant to voice his concerns over fear of losing his job, the lawsuit will make it easier for workers to speak up.

Tsuguo Hirota, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said TEPCO is responsible for making sure the subcontractors properly remunerate workers. He said he wants to bring the working conditions at the Daiichi plant into the open through the trial.

While TEPCO faces the challenge of securing three to six thousand workers everyday for the decommissioning of the plant, its treatment of workers will be dealt with in court for the first time.

Fukushima No. 1 chief feared nuclear doom for eastern Japan — The Japan Times: here.

Government OK’s growing rice for public sale within Fukushima contamination zone — Natural Society: here.

Should Japan restart its nuclear reactors? — Truthout: here.

Tepco says 400-kg control console fell Into Fukushima fuel pool — Bloomberg: here.

Japan’s former PM tells of Tokyo evacuation risk after Fukushima — Brisbane Times: here.

TEPCO guilty in Fukushima woman’s suicide

Mikio Watanabe holds a portrait of his late wife Hamako at his home at Yamakiya district in Kawamata town, Fukushima prefecture in this June 23, 2014 file photo. — Reuters pic

From Reuters news agency:

Fukushima court rules Tepco responsible for woman’s suicide

August 26, 2014

FUKUSHIMA, Aug 26 — A Japanese court has ruled that Fukushima nuclear operator Tokyo Electric was responsible for a woman’s suicide after the March 2011 disaster and must pay compensation, in a landmark ruling that could set a precedent for other claims against the utility.

The civil suit by Mikio Watanabe claimed that Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc (Tepco) was to blame for the July 2011 death of his wife, Hamako, 58, who doused herself in kerosene and set herself on fire after falling into depression.

The district court in Fukushima ruled in favour of Watanabe, a court official told reporters. Kyodo news reported that Tepco was ordered to pay ¥49 million (RM1.5 million) in compensation. Watanabe had sought about ¥91 million in damages.

The court decision is the latest blow for the utility, which was bailed out with taxpayer funds in 2012 and expects to spend more than US$48 billion in compensation alone for the nuclear disaster.

Tepco has settled a number of suicide-related claims through a government dispute resolution system, but has declined to say how many or give details on how much it has paid.

Watanabe, who had declined to settle out of court, told Reuters after the verdict: “I am satisfied with the decision.” He said he believed his wife was satisfied, too.

Toru Takeda, 73, a retired high school teacher from a nearby town, travelled from his temporary home in Yamagata in north Japan to hear the verdict. Takeda has filed a lawsuit against Tepco over his inability to return to his home.

“Our verdict will come next month from the same court, so, of course, we welcome this outcome,” he told Reuters.

Tepco’s shares and debt, which have been battered in the wake of the Fukushima crisis and prolonged cleanup, have held largely steady in recent weeks and showed little reaction to the verdict. Tepco shares were down 0.5 percent at 383 yen in afternoon trade in Tokyo.

Kan slams Tepco over request to “withdraw” from crippled plant — GlobalPost: here.

Fukushima nuclear crisis estimated to cost ¥11 trillion: study — The Japan Times: here.

Japanese public seen as biggest obstacle to nuke restart — Bloomberg: here.

Indict Tepco fat cats for Fukushima disaster, Japanese say

TEPCO cartoon

From Kyodo news agency in Japan:

Indict Tepco execs over disaster: judicial panel

A judicial panel of citizens said Thursday it has decided that three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. merit indictment over the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

The 11-member Tokyo No. 5 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution voted that Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tepco at the time of the disaster, and two former vice presidents, Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro, should be indicted.

The panel said the former executives had failed to take sufficient crisis management steps to ensure safety despite the possibility that a massive tsunami could trigger an unprecedented accident.

A group of Fukushima residents and others had filed criminal complaints against the Tepco executives for alleged professional negligence resulting in death and injury in connection with the nuclear plant disaster.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office decided last September not to indict former leaders of the Fukushima plant operator, saying it was difficult to foresee the scale of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 that triggered the worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

But around 5,700 people, including Fukushima residents affected by the nuclear crisis, were dissatisfied with the prosecutors’ decision and asked the inquest panel to review the case last October.

With the latest decision, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office is expected to resume investigations into the three former officials. If it decides not to indict them or does not announce a decision within three months, the prosecution inquest panel will discuss the case once again.

Katsumata and the two others will face mandatory indictment should the panel decide again that they merit indictment.

The group argued the executives continued the operation of the Fukushima plant without implementing necessary safety measures, forcing many residents to be exposed to radiation and causing the deaths of patients and the elderly under severe conditions following the nuclear crisis. Of the other three, the panel said Akio Komori, former managing director, merits reinvestigation, while it decided Norio Tsuzumi and Toshiaki Enomoto, both former vice presidents, do not merit indictment.

“I am so happy and can’t put it into words. I think the members of the Tokyo prosecution inquest panel judged the case sincerely as consumers of electricity produced by Tepco,” said Ayako Oga, 41, an evacuee from Fukushima.

“I want the prosecutors to listen to Fukushima residents affected by the accident and indict them (the Tepco officials),” Oga said.

Miwa Chiwaki, 44, secretariat chief of the group said, “I cannot believe that nobody has taken responsibility for the accident.”

Tepco fails to create ice wall to stem radioactive water flow — The Yomiuri Shimbun: here.