5 years after Japans Nuclear Disaster Tepco Executives Charged

Five years since the 2011 #Japanese nuclear disaster, #watercontinues to flow into the stricken #TEPCO plant where it becomes contaminated with radioactivity. The #radioactive water is being pumped into tanks with more than 1,000 tanks now full and the number growing. TEPCO has stated that it may take 40 years to complete the complex decommissioning of the reactors and clean-up.

More than 160,000 people were forced to evacuate the area following the #Fukushimameltdown and about 59,000 people continue to live in barrack-style temporary homes. While the government has built some public housing, 7 percent of the homes built in the three prefectures of Fukushima, #Iwate and #Miyagi remain empty, highlighting the refusal of the government to adequately meet the needs of the victims. High rents have prevented some of those in temporary housing from moving.

#Nuclear plants in #Japan are being brought back online in defiance of public opinion polls which regularly indicate that a majority of those surveyed oppose the use of nuclear power.

Two reactors were restarted last August & October at the #Sendai nuclear plant in #KagoshimaPrefecture by the #Kyushu Electric Power Company. The Sendai plant is on the Mount#Sakurajima #volcano, which erupted on February 5.
In January, Kansai Electric Power Company activated its reactor at the Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture. Contaminated water was found leaking during tests on February 20. It was reactivated on 26.

While these issues continue to fuel popular hostility to nuclear power, the opposition Democratic Party of Japan DPJ is attempting to capitalise on this by placing the blame solely on Prime Minister #ShinzoAbe.

The ongoing attempts of Japanese governments to protect TEPCO over the Fukushima disaster are another demonstration that the drive for profits takes precedence over health & safety.
So long as nuclear power remains the province of private corporations & the market, the health of the environment & the safety of humankind will be subordinated to the drive for profit & enrichment of executives & big shareholders



In the lead up to the fifth anniversary of the #Fukushima #nuclear disaster, three former #Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) executives were indicted late last month (Feb) over their role in the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.

Tsunehisa Katsumata, TEPCO chairman during the accident, and Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro, both former heads of the company’s nuclear division, have all been charged with negligence. It is the first time anyone has been indicted over the nuclear disaster. While the limited charges are largely to deflect continuing public anger, they have been opposed by the US backed government of Prime Minister #ShinzoAbe.

Three out of six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant went into meltdown after being hit by a #tsunami caused by a magnitude-9 earthquake on March 11, 2011. From the outset there has been a conscious and ongoing effort to cover up the gross negligence of the company and the government.

TEPCO only admitted last month that it had known that a #meltdown had occurred but waited two months before making the information public. Widespread confusion marked the evacuation process in #2011 and is believed to have caused the deaths of at least 44 people, mostly hospital patients or residents in nursing homes.

In 2008, three years before the disaster, an internal TEPCO document predicted that a 15.7-meter high tsunami could potentially strike the Fukushima plant. These warnings were ignored. TEPCO, the fourth largest power company in the world, did nothing to increase the height of its existing 10-meter seawall, which proved completely inadequate when the 14-meter tsunami struck the plant in 2011.

The government has consistently attempted to protect #TEPCO, which has a long record #history of covering up safety incidents.

Over 15,000 people were killed in the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. There are widespread concerns that #health problems may emerge in the #future. It is also unclear what impact the disaster will have on the environment. #Greenpeace #Japan has stated in a recent report that it had found high concentrations of radiation in new leaves and mutations


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