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Ex-TEPCO execs make final plea for acquittal over Fukushima nuclear crisis

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Even though the generators failed, the reactor did have one final back up option. The control rods. These function to slow or stop the reactor. This however, would ruin the reactor and require complete disassembly. This is costly and in typical Japanese fashion, the man in charge at the plant could not make that decision until he got approval from above.

On the excuse about not predicting the size of the tsunami, that is a poor excuse. There is a sister reactor which did not suffer damage because the sea wall height was determined based on ancient historical records. The engineer was originally criticized for making the wall to high. He bucked the system and as a result, that plant remained functional. Nuclear power is a good source of energy, how it has to been handled correctly.

Bill

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Desillusioned

The wanted to build a quite higher wall according to the plans but that were not allowed when the got the building allowence.

This was of cource an accident which also resulting in damage of a water power station with 10 000 killings. But this is not much speaking of. The buildings that were destroyed as effect of the Tsunami so the people have to be evacuated. Why wasn´t the buildings stable enough to withstand the Tsunami.

Everything in the society were hardly destroyed but why would just the nuclear plant have to be built to withstand the Tsunami when nothing else is.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I find it bit odd that some one lives in a country that has several major fault lines running through it, they can't or don't want to plan for major earthquake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The placement of the generators was a zero day fault, something so basic as to be mind boggling, but that pales beside the building of nuclear power plants in Japan, or anywhere for that matter.

Nuclear power is inherently unsafe. Compare a nuclear and a fossil fuel plant. Most of the hardware at a nuclear plant is there to contain radiation due to normal operation and accidents. A fossil fule plant needs none of this. Hardware failures at fossil fuel plants typically cause the fire to go out. Hardware failures at nuclear plants can and do cause things to go out of control and as Chernobyl demonstrated the impact can be worldwide. A failure at a fossil fuel plant is unlikely to cause damage a block away.

The main problem I have with harsh treatment for these guys is that the real responsibility for dotting Japan with these disasters waiting to happen is spread very widely. Even in the unlikely event that there is a harsh penalty for the guys on trial, that will be a judicial travesty because there are hundreds or thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, business types, and academics who have been pushing nuclear power for decades. Some still are.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Say Whaaaat! The course had to appoint lawyers because of outside pressure due to the prosecutors office did not want to prosecute the Tepco executives!!!

Which is entirely within their discretion, and you might not want them to lose it, because a LOT of people are kiso yuyoed each year. In addition to the difficulties of making a solid case, there is also a legitimate policy element at work here - charging for negligence means saying goodbye to any cooperation you received from the companies involved in the future. The next time an accident happens, the burners will be on as high as they can stand, and nobody is going to do any voluntary studies once the thing is built, because it might say the wrong thing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Facts? That link you posted is a Japanese government sanctioned press release. Please do not call that drivel facts.

So put up your own facts and source to dispute. The drivel you speak of is from an eminent nuclear scientist, presented at an open forum for an audience of similarly qualified nuclear scientists.

Not putting anything up says you're just trying to feed mushrooms.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sh1mon M4sada - Have some facts and chew on the fat before judging please:

Facts? That link you posted is a Japanese government sanctioned press release. Please do not call that drivel facts. I think you should have taken the blue pill.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kobe White Bar OwnerToday  08:14 am JST

Anything but jail time would be an insult to all of those that are suffering/suffered due to their incompetence.

And most of all, due to their greed!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Really? Considering the earth shook like hell, and very few structures had to come down, I think Japanese buildings showed themselves to be extremely resilient.

So are the plants at FD, the designers made decisions based on advice that earthquake risks were greater than record breaking tsunami risk.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Also, if coastal levees would not have prevented the disaster why are electricity companies now building coastal walls around their remaining nuclear power plants?

'Now', is the operative word here, it was a record breaking earthquake, it was the subduction type and it was offshore, all conspired to bring down anything in its path. Now, with benefit of hindsight is not exactly demonstrating wilful negligence. BTW, what about the rest of the sea walls not raised? Indict all government now?

Engineers design for mostly 1 in a 100 year event, or 500 if budget allowed and there is/are need to do so, ALL Japanese infrastuctures (sea walls included) are designed to code, and codes take into account of risk vs benefit (and cost). The sea walls at FD complied, approved and certified.

Prosecutors don't want to prosecute because it's illogical to indict on wilful negligence. Did the executives setout to destroy their own plant?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope nobody is expecting any of these J-Gov cronies to spend a single minute inside a jail cell.

Deep bows, golden parachutes (for which we will pay) and they will ride into the sunset on a cloud of hostess club fumes, as a generation of young Japanese start to develop cancers and give birth to sick infants.

TIJ. As corrupt as they come.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Better shut them all down ASAP because no one can know

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The defence team argued they could not predict a tsunami hitting the eastern side of the plant based on the government evaluation and said installing coastal levees would not have prevented the disaster.

The tsunami was (and is) entirely predictable. Also, if coastal levees would not have prevented the disaster why are electricity companies now building coastal walls around their remaining nuclear power plants? If these walls are ineffective the power plants should not be allowed to resume operation, but the government is allowing that.

Anyway, it will be "not guilty" or suspended sentences all round: there is zero chance of any of these crooks seeing the inside of a jail.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ir was a record breaking highest ever recorded earthquake for Japan. Every where around the country infrastructures were not designed for this magnitude earthquake.

Really? Considering the earth shook like hell, and very few structures had to come down, I think Japanese buildings showed themselves to be extremely resilient.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's Japan so any guilt is shouldered by a cloud of meetings and an obscure structure of responsibility. Anyone who does business in Japan knows the decision makers are protected by a mass of underlings who's duties are to protect and serve the master. Thus a constant stream of farcical decisions with no one responsible.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

they are lucky, should be on trial for murder

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Maybe they couldn't foresee the size of the tsunami, however, they sure as hell acted very dishonestly in the immediate aftermath and should be judged on that too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Say Whaaaat! The course had to appoint lawyers because of outside pressure due to the prosecutors office did not want to prosecute the Tepco executives!!!

Why speculate, why not ask the prosecutors themselves.

Crying out about Japanese justice system, only to favour 'panel of citizens' over expert prosecution lawyers. Sigh....

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It is true that the earthquake and subsequent tsunami were impossible to foresee and they were an unprecedented event

Ir was a record breaking highest ever recorded earthquake for Japan. Every where around the country infrastructures were not designed for this magnitude earthquake. Should tge government put themselves in jail too?

In 2001 a French team of experts advised TEPCO to get the backup generators off the ground and onto the top of the reactor housings. They were also advised to waterproof all the electrics to prevent failure as the result of a large tsunami.

But this is contradictory to earlier design phase advice where it was deemed earthquakes were a bigger risk, and the plant should be located on bedrock (at lower elevation). Justice is not about cherry picking advice to convict.

Have some facts and chew on the fat before judging please:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4z7OwfwoPzA

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

TEPCO was a corrupt company before. They were called TEPCO Family and hired people in connections. Employees could enjoy permanent hirement and high salaries. Today, TEPCO stocks are owned nearly 50% after the accident by the government. I hope the situation has improved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The panel's decision came after Tokyo prosecutors decided not to charge the three over the world's worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl crisis.

This says it all doesn't it!

The prosecutors no doubt golfing at the same golf clubs as the Tepco executives.

Court-appointed lawyers acting as prosecutors have called for a five-year prison term for the three, claiming they could have prevented the nuclear disaster had they fulfilled their responsibilities in collecting information and taking safety measures.

Say Whaaaat! The course had to appoint lawyers because of outside pressure due to the prosecutors office did not want to prosecute the Tepco executives!!!

And everyone is cool with that??? Unbelievable and completely damning once again of the Japanese Justice system and specifically that of the the Prosecutors office. It appears this department needs a through cleaning out as it appears to be rotten to the core!

It is crystal clear from this that the Judicial system here is not independent of Government and big business pressure.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In 2001 a French team of experts advised TEPCO to get the backup generators off the ground and onto the top of the reactor housings. They were also advised to waterproof all the electrics to prevent failure as the result of a large tsunami. This recommendation was also supported by the -Gov at the time. However, in typical J-Gov style, they did not enforce these changes to the plants across the country. This innaction resulted in the meltdowns as the generators were swamped by the tsunami. And, this still has not been addressed at any of the other coastal plants around Japan, which are all susceptible to large tsunamis and the same power failure.

It is true that the earthquake and subsequent tsunami were impossible to foresee and they were an unprecedented event. However, in the last thousand years Japan has been subjected to many large earthquakes and tsunamis, which should have been enough for them to stop penny-pinching and make these plants safe in the event of a major quake and tsunami. Since the tsunami they have increased the height of the sea walls, which is not a solution. The quake in Sendai caused a large portion of the coast to drop by half a meter, which resulted in the sea walls failing and flooding many towns. The upgrades they have done since the meltdowns are only public-appeasing bandaid fixes and the plants still face the same backup electrics failure that caused the meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-Ichi.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Invectives won't contribute positively in this discussion. Memories and facts will.

Let's not forget that before 2011, Japanese BWR plants were considered the safest in the world. FD plants were all designed by GE (the best, most competent, most experienced in the world). The plants were built by GE, Toshiba, or Hirachi, also reputable companies.

Advice by other agencies outside Japan and the design team during the design phase highlighted earthquake risks, hence the decision to lower the podium the plant sat on so as to found the plant on bedrock (to mitigate earthquake risks). Selectively quoting other advice is not painting the full picture.

The systems, the safety backup, the various redundancies all functioned as intended, so again to raise other scandals is being disingenuous.

The only extraordinary issues are the tsunami, and the breakdown in process and permission related delays where the government is partly if not wholy responsible, but IMHO another unintended fault.

A series of unfortunate events. The executives in question should get better lawyers. No comparison to Ghosn case in terms of culpability.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Anything but jail time would be an insult to all of those that are suffering/suffered due to their incompetence.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

These guys are personification of the rotten cream of J-Inc ...at best suspended sentence with a deep bow and a golden sunset ride off. Aquital more likely though...system looks after their old boys.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The defense team said it was impossible for them to foresee the massive tsunami

Only in the sense that people cannot see things that the bottom line prevents them from seeing.

A coastal location on the Ring of Fire, a history of major earthquakes and tsunamis: not considering the possibility of a natural disaster of huge proportions (like those that have happened in the past) is gross negligence and sheer incompetence.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

LOCK THEM UP!!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The defense team said it was impossible for them to foresee the massive tsunami that engulfed the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and caused core meltdowns following a massive earthquake in northeastern Japan.

This much is true, BUT it was possible for them to ensure that the previous safety inspections that pointed out that the generators that were responsible for keeping the cooling water pumps working in case of a power shortage were placed on higher ground!

THOSE generators going out were directly responsible for a lack of power to keep the cooling water running and probably stop the reactors from total meltdowns.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

"No, Sir .... not me, Sir, I didn't know, I didn't do it, Sir!"

After that make another deep bow, make promises again and in addition declare once again that everything is under control, no problems, everything proceeding according to plan.

What a joke!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The defense team said it was impossible for them to foresee the massive tsunami that engulfed the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and caused core meltdowns following a massive earthquake in northeastern Japan.

This defense is probably enough to get them acquitted in a Japanese court. The facts that they deliberately falsified data on safety reports and upgrades and ignored upgrade proposals by the Japanese government and by a French team of experts, which directly caused the meltdowns and resulted in the deaths of 44 people and the displacement of over 100,000 people are irrelevant. Their defense is true. They could not foresee such a large tsunami. TIJ!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Send them all to jail!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

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