Trial Begins for Ex-TEPCO Chairman, Two VPs, for Death of 44 People in Fukushima Meltdowns
(EnviroNews World News) — The Chairman, and two Vice Presidents of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) will stand trial for the death of 44 people who were killed in the ensuing melee following the March 11, 2011 triple nuclear reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in eastern Japan. The men will make their first appearance in court on June 30, 2017, answering for what are the only criminal charges so far, in an ongoing nightmare that has become arguably the worst manmade environmental catastrophe the world has ever seen.
Former TEPCO chairman, Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, alongside former Vice Presidents Sakae Muto, 66, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71 were charged with “professional negligence resulting in death and injury,” in February of 2016. The trio will appear before the Tokyo District Court, after all three entered a plea of “innocent” at the arraignment.
“We hope the trial will shed light on the responsibility for this accident. The accident hasn’t been resolved. There is nuclear waste from the cleanup efforts everywhere in Fukushima, and there are still many unresolved problems,” said Ruiko Muto, who leads the group that advocated for the trial, to The Japan Times.
The hearing comes over six year after the meltdowns, and following intense deliberation about whether to charge the former executives or not. Prosecutors had twice said they wouldn’t charge the men after reviewing a complaint filed by 14,716 Fukushima residents in June of 2012, but changed course and decided to move forward with prosecution after a judicial review panel, comprised of ordinary citizens, voted for the second time last year that they should be indicted.
“We want a verdict as soon as possible,” Muto said. “Some victims of this tragedy have died without seeing the start of the trial.”
The heart of the case revolves around a governmental panel report that illuminates a 2008 simulation wherein TEPCO deduced a 52-foot tsunami could slam into the plant from an 8.3 magnitude earthquake. The accused executives allegedly ignored that study and failed to take precautions to safeguard the facility in such an event. The wave that flooded the Daiichi facility was about 45 feet high.
If convicted, the men could face up to five years in prison and a $9,000 fine, as campaigners push for approximately three-dozen other TEPCO executives to be charged as well.
BUSTED: Former TEPCO Bosses Indicted For Deadly Negligence in Fukushima Meltdowns
(EnviroNews World News) – Nearly five years after the tsunami and subsequent triple nuclear reactor meltdown that rocked Fukushima Daiichi in eastern Japan, for the first time, criminal charges have been filed, in what is still unfurling as arguably the worst manmade environmental disaster in history. Three…
MORE ON FUKUSHIMA FROM ENVIRONEWS
It’s Finally Here: Radioactive Plume From Fukushima Makes Landfall on America’s West Coast
(EnviroNews Oregon) – Tillamook County, Oregon – Seaborne cesium 134, the so-called “fingerprint of Fukushima,” has been detected on US shores for the first time researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) said this month. WHOI is a crowd-funded science seawater sampling project, that has been monitoring…
Nuclear Hogs: Radioactive Wild Boars Running Amok Around Fukushima; Hunters Deployed
(EnviroNews World News) – Fukushima Prefecture, Japan – Radioactive wild boars are running amok near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant on the eastern coast of Japan. The animals have migrated down from the mountains into the virtual ghost towns surrounding the site of the world’s worst nuclear…
Fukushima Robot Fried Again, But Confrims Astronomical Radiation, Cleanup Impossible for Decades
(EnviroNews World News) – Fukushima Prefecture, Japan – Dismantling the crumpled reactors and recovering the melted fuel at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant in eastern Japan now relies on technology that hasn’t even been invented yet, as Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) flies blindly into an abyss…
ALERT: New Radiation Readings in Fukushima Reactor 2 Are ‘Unimaginable,’ Lethal in 1 Min.
(EnviroNews World News) – Fukushima Prefecture, Japan – On February 2, 2017, radiation levels in the Reactor 2 vessel at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 power plant in eastern Japan, were measured at the highest levels since the triple reactor core meltdowns on March 11, 2011, The…
No ‘Safe’ Level Period: How The Media Got It Dangerously Wrong on Fukushima Radiation Hitting The West Coast
(EnviroNews DC News Bureau) – “It is not a question any more: radiation produces cancer, and the evidence is good all the way down to the lowest doses,” says the late Dr. John Gofman, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkley, in his book Nuclear Witnesses: Insiders…
Editorial: 5 Yrs. Later, TEPCO Finally Admits It Lied To The World About Fukushima Meltdowns
(EnviroNews World News) – Fukushima Prefecture, Japan – EDITORIAL: THE TRUTH: Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) knew within hours following the 3/11/11 tsunami that a full-scale, multi-reactor nuclear meltdown was underway. THE LIE: TEPCO waited nearly two months to inform the public. Those were the staggering admissions handed…
Radioactive Water Pileup Problem Still Festering at Fukushima: 1106 Tanks and Counting
(EnviroNews World News) – A new photo released this week starkly demonstrates how severe the radioactive water storage crisis on the ground at Fukushima Daiichi really is. Published in The Asahi Shimbun , the aerial photo shows a scene resembling that of a “giant integrated circuit board”…
FILM AND ARTICLE CREDITS
- Emerson Urry - Journalist, Author