Former nuclear safety chief questioned over Fukushima negligence


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and yet no one is in jail or even been fined.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It also reportedly faults him for failing to take necessary measures to shield the plant against the tsunami in the first place.

However I would say that this doesn't go far enough. He may have been the chief, but the one's who put him there in the first place, the one's he answered to, his bosses, meaning the government, should face the same charges!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Who cares about whether he was questioned or not?

What we want are ANSWERS.

Real, actual ANSWERS.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Tokaimura Nuclear Accident took four years to sentence six executives. However, all received suspended prison terms. The former head of the plant and the company that operated it were fined. The six executives admitted negligence whick killed two workers and caused hundreds of people living near the uranium processing plant at Tokaimura to be exposed to radiation.

If TEPCO executives don't admit to any negligence, I could see passing sentence take eleven years like Shoko Asahara's sentencing. He was finally sentenced in September 2006 for the 1995 gas attack. He appealed his case to the Supreme Court.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He has much to answer for.

In those first hours of the nuclear disaster, on a copter flight to the Fukushima plant with the then PM Kan, he told Kan there wasn't anything to worry about, nuclear meltdowns in this country weren't possible.

Prior to the 3/11 nuclear disaster I knew nothing about the nuclear industry in this country and even after hundreds of hours of reading and study I probably know just a little.

I'm shocked how much the nuclear industry got away with over five decades. I had assumed, quite wrongly that the safety standards of all nuclear plants would be the highest level and especially in this country with its thousands of years history of powerful quakes and tsunamis.

How wrong I was on that point, and the nuclear industry were allowed to operate their atomic plants with some of the lowest safety levels in the world, and lower than what is considered international standards.

Haruki Madarame was a major player in allowing all of that to happen which led to the worse nuclear disaster since Chernobyl when it could have all been avoided with a little more common sense and a total commitment to safety before profit.

Its also shocking that the major players like Haruki Madarame, and the Chairman and President of TEPCO aren't already doing time.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The ANSWER really was the government. It was keen to promote its ambitious nuclear power program. Full stop. Haruki Madarame will be the fall guy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TEPCO has admitted it had played down known tsunami risks for fear of the political, financial and reputational cost. It says no one has died as a direct result of radiation.

Huh! wait for some years when radiation caused cancer start affecting those exposed and die one one by one. But of course that will be years and this tragedy may well be forgotten by JGov. and TEPCO. They are now busy looking for a fall guy for their blunders.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No one has directly died from radiation because that information is kept secret from the public. If anyone did die from radiation, the government will not admit to it in any way. Give it another year or two, and you will start to see a whole lot of people getting sick from radiation exposure.

There may not be any immediate results from radiation exposure, but what about the long term results!!!

These people that are in charge of TEPCO, should all be put into jail for a very long time, and have their pensions taken away from them!!!

What they did to everyone in Japan and all over the world was a direct terrorist attack that was caused by their sefish characters and stupidity!!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )


Thank you for your clear comment.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In July last year a parliamentary report said Fukushima was a man-made disaster caused by Japan’s culture of “reflexive obedience” and not just by the tsunami that hit the plant.

So how do you charge a single guy criminally, when it was the whole society at fault? No doubt he was culpable, but so was the rest of Japan Inc. that spawned the whole push towards nuclear power to get cheap energy. "Reflexive obedience" is the real culpit here and that should force the whole of Japanese society to reflect on itself, not try to find a scape goat in one guy. The same folks in Fukushima who filed these charges gladly accepted the benefits -- money, jobs, etc -- that TEPCO sent their way for decades.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The belief that people will start dying en masse after a few years is not how it happens. Anyone who receives very high radiation doses will die in a few days to weeks through the sheer amount of biological damage caused by the ionizing radiations, as happened with the initial safety/recovery teams at Chernobyl. People with intermediate exposure doses will be ill with radiation biological damage, but from which they will recover with no short term deleterious health effects. They will remain healthy for years, but some of them - not all - could develope various cancers, from which they will eventually die.

I don't think that the huge tsunami which hit the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station was an act of sabotage! Unless someone set off a vast charge of explosives to initiate the subducting earthquake.

The basic fact about Fukushima - and other Japanese nuclear power stations at coast? I don't know - was that warnings from geologists of the distinct possibility of a massive subducting earthquake producing a huge tsunami was, from what I read in 2011, ignored, and the earlier nuclear regulatory authority didn't appear to have the power to force TEPCO to initiate remedial measures. The fact that the emergency diesel generators were located in floodable basements was a terrible design glitch, which so obviously should never have passed the design scrutineers.

Well, for sure no one has suffered more from the ignoring advice than TEPCO.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Corrumption starts at the top. You want to end it, you don't throw up your hands in despair and blame the whole of society. You nail the top people - plenty of them, and put in regulartory controls with bite. That's not going to happen of course.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan’s culture of “reflexive obedience”

That should be "Aberrant ignorance" They were warned many times about the dangers and many suggestions were made to them including waterproofing the back up electrics and getting the back up generators onto the roofs of the reactor housings, which they totally ignored. And, they still have done bugger all about tsunami proofing the rest of the reactors in the country. Yeah, they have done stress tests on the buildings, but that was not the cause of the meltdown in Fukushima. They have also "promised" to build larger tsunami walls at a few plants, but we al know how well they work. As for Madarame, I know he stuffed up big time with his management off the crisis, but he was given a loaded gun when he took over and had no idea how to deal with it. The blame should go further back to the ignorant twits that left the plant in such a delicate state.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It says no one has died as a direct result of radiation.

Not true. Plus, let's be honest such a play absolves you of nothing. You ARE guilty of outrageous deceit, you are culpable, you are to blame and you SHOULD be punished to the full force of the law.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No one has died from radiation. And according to UNSCEAR, and numerous other international organisations, the western media (most notably Forbes and the WSJ) no-one will die from radiation. Why the JT authors consistently overlook these news stories is beyond me but the recent findings by UNSCEAR is massive and one which should be celebrated and not hidden.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

no one has died from radiation?

140 workers, I think they must be TEPCO employee's have growths in their thyroid glands. Will it lead to thyroid cancers? I think its too early to say? More than 15,000 Fukushima children also have some kind of growths in their thyroid glands.

The measure and extend of nuclear disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima is not just about the number of people who died or will die from possible radiation cancers. There are the massive costs, Fukushima will eventually cost more than ¥50 trillion. The destruction of the lives of the 150,000+ nuclear refugees, the lost of their homes, property, treasured belongings, the lost of their communities, business, schools.

Extensive contamination of the environment, land mass and oceans. Some previous communities will be off limits for many decades.

For some, because to date, no one has died from radiation lessens the dangers of the nuclear disaster. I expect many of those TEPCO workers who were on site at the time of the nuclear disaster and remained to try and stop it from becoming a worse disaster were exposed to very high levels of radiation will more than likely develop cancers over time.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But Thyroid cancer is 100% treatable if caught early enough. Unlike the cancers and respiratory issues caused by fossil fuels.

And 15,000 children in Fukushima seems ridiculously high. So much so it's impossible to believe.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And your expectations differ to all of the scientists and experts around the world. Who have a better understanding on this than you and I.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Readers, please keep your comments focused on what is in the story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And 15,000 children in Fukushima seems ridiculously high. So much so it's impossible to believe.

You can believe it or not but it has been reported in the media.

But Thyroid cancer is 100% treatable if caught early enough. Unlike the cancers and respiratory issues caused by fossil fuels.

Without an extensive medical investigation over several decades, it would be impossible to know exactly how many people in a certain location developed cancers because of a fossil burning plant. In Japan twice has many males develop cancers than females. Twice as many Americans develop cancers than Japanese.

An investigation would have to research every area with a fossil burning plant, the type of plant, the amount of pollution released by that plant, the location and weather patterns. The types of cancers developed by people living near the plant and comparing it with national rates. How many would have developed cancers without the plant and how many because of the plant.

How much fossil fuel pollution comes from the coal burning plants in China?

Power plants are not the only ones burning fossil fuels and is burnt by cars and trucks. How many cancer cases are caused by cars and trucks? One of the dirtiest cities in America is LA, and in the winter months Salt Lake City suffers enormous amounts of poisonous pollution, both caused by the burning of fossil fuels in cars and trucks. Beijing is another example of a dirty city.

Prior to the 3/11 nuclear disaster, nuclear energy generated about 25% of total power. 75% was generated from fossil fuels. When the new safety standards for atomic plants are agreed and the reactors updated to comply with the new standards I think we will discover there won't be 54 reactors anymore and the number of reactors available for operation will drop to 25 or less and probably the total level of power generated will also drop to about 15-20%, which means that 80-85% will have to be generated from fossil fuels and renewable energy.

Moderator: Sorry, but we asked readers to comment on what is in the story. Please post something more pertinent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MODS you deleted by reply to a comment by Heda_Madness

And 15,000 children in Fukushima seems ridiculously high. So much so it's impossible to believe.

If I can't reply to a comment directed at me then you should also remove the original comment by Heda_Madness.

Moderator: Not at all because the moderator added a request that all readers get back on topic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sometimes, experts get it wrong.

The Diet Commssion which investigated the cause of the nuclear disaster interviewed thousands of expert witnesses including Haruki Madarame. Some of those expert witnesses in the course of their professions had stated that a nuclear disaster could never happen in this country. Or the safety measures at the atomic plants for earthquakes and tsunami were good enough to prevent a nuclear disaster from happening.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

But that's the thing. None of these experts are Japanese. They're international and they have no Tepco/Japanese Government bias.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )


yes you are probably right. The 140 TEPCO workers who were exposed to radiation and have growths in their thyroids couldn't have happened because of the exposure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichiFeb. 04, 2013 - 11:06AM JST

Sometimes, experts get it wrong.

........not to mention putting the diesel generators for the emergency flood the basement!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It also reportedly faults him for failing to take necessary measures to shield the plant against the tsunami in the first place.

And seeing how he was appointed in 2010, under the DPJ no less, how on earth can he be responsible for poor government planning for tsunamis?


More than 15,000 Fukushima children also have some kind of growths in their thyroid glands.

And this might be entirely common - modern ultrasound scanners have been detecting more thyroid nodules in German populations. The old method was trying to feel for nodules, which picked up much less.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Haruki Madarame was a gov't advisor on nuclear energy for 30 years.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He was appointed to head the predecessor of the NRA in 2010.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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