Monthly Archives: July 2022

‘Angry’ court ruling blasts former TEPCO execs’ inaction at Fukushima nuclear power station, fines them 13 trillion yen

The Asahi Shimbun Newspaper — July 14, 2022

In awarding a record amount in compensation, the Tokyo District Court held four former executives responsible for their utter failure to prevent a disaster that could have led to “the collapse of our nation.”

The court on July 13 ordered the former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay about 13 trillion yen ($97 billion) in compensation to the company for failing to take measures that could have prevented the 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The ruling said the four defendants–Tsunehisa Katsumata, a former chairman; Masataka Shimizu, a former president; and two former vice presidents, Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto–“fundamentally lacked an awareness of the need for safety and a sense of responsibility that is asked of executives of an operator of a nuclear plant.”

The ruling said that instead of taking the required measures to deal with a possible tsunami, the four put off making decisions on the matter.

A nuclear accident “could lead to the collapse of our nation because the damage would extend over a wide land area and cause enormous damage to the entire population,” the ruling said.

Faced with such a possibility, the ruling said operators of nuclear plants had a social and public interest obligation to prevent an accident even if the possibility was remote.

A major point in the lawsuit was the long-term assessment of the probability of major earthquakes released by the government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion in July 2002.

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