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1,415 sue builders of Fukushima nuclear plant

66 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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66 Comments
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They're on the wrong track. The accident was due to failures in the cooling system. Whoever designed and sited the main and backup cooling systems are the ones who should be punished.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I agree, but think that the whole thing was an act of nature.

-10 ( +3 / -12 )

The Fukushima plant has largely stabilized since the accident,

a. Resistant to change of position or condition; not easily moved or disturbed:

My morning laugh. Thanks Associated Press and Mari Yamaguchi for that bit of disinformation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Without a doubt Tepco should be paying out. And any executives who were in charge before 3/11 should be prosecuted as they didn't take necessary steps to ensure safety.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Without a doubt Tepco should be paying out. And any executives who were in charge before 3/11 should be prosecuted as they didn't take necessary steps to ensure safety.

Agreed.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@jefflee - TEPCO themselves sited the plant lower than the 20 m elevation recommended by GE. As this was Japan's first plant, they left the design to GE, but they were adamant that they were not going to pay to pump water 20 m uphill, their job was to generate electric it, not use it. This was revealed in 1996, when the minutes of the planning meeting were publicised. They know exactly who made the decision.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

These people have got it all wrong and won't achieve anything. The reactors themselves were fine, but tepco was supposed to upgrade them after 30 years I believe (or the whole facility), but tepco managed to secure an extension on those upgrades from their bffs in Tokyo.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Japanese governmnet itself created the standards to which the plant was built. The government specified the the height of the tsunami protection walls, and these specifications were all met. Unfortunately, the waves were much bigger than government planners had expected.

It is Tepco's fault that the backup generators were not located in a secure space, and they are damingly at fault for not keeping the backup battery system supplied with fresh, fully charged batteries. Whoever was supposed to be doing regular load checks on the batteries carries a large share of the blame for the disaster.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Can we sue Tepco for installing substandard water tanks that will only last 2 years.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Toshiba and Hitachi declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying they have not received the legal documents."

Declining to discuss a pending legal action is well advised (because any public comments can be introduced in the court as evidence). A simple "we cannot make any public comment at this time" is always the appropriate response to media inquiries. However, stating that "the legal documents have not been received" as a excuse for not commenting on a lawsuit is patent nonsense. All parties to lawsuits are "served" with a copy of the "legal documents" before the case is filed with the court. Here again we see the unfortunate tendency of Japanese organizations to be wholly unprepared to handle crisis management situations - and instead resort to denial of knowledge as their front line public relations strategy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The Fukushima plant has largely stabilized since the accident," What planet are these people living on? It has not been stabilized. It is getting worse day by day.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And don't forget the internal memos that were found under the rug of the Tepco Old Boys Club, mentioning that the repeated IAEA warnings and recommendations to upgrade the damned plant were put aside for reasons, and I quote, that "daijoubu, daijoubu da yo, nothing can go wrong due our Japanese superior technology". Well, that display of arrogance bit them in the a$$ real bad. Wonder what those folks have to say now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It nuts to sue the builders when TEPCO refused to implement safety upgrades and didn't train their technical staff properly. After 3 Mile Island, recommendations were made to improve the cooling systems. Not implemented by TEPCO. After it was learned that tsunami waves possibilities were much higher than thought in 2007, TEPCO decided to study the issue. TEPCO never had their staff simulate an actual crisis and there the staff didn't know there in the middle of a meltdown until it was too late. The staff didn't know that if you send extra water in, you should be seeing steam come roaring out like a jet engine. Instead they thought that light puffs of steam which indicates a severe lack of water and possible meltdown, indicated that the reactors were getting enough water. Things change in 40 years, parts and systems need to get upgraded, and most of all, people properly trained.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JeffLeeJan. 31, 2014 - 07:38AM JST They're on the wrong track. The accident was due to failures in the cooling system. Whoever designed and sited the main and backup cooling systems are the ones who should be punished.---------------------------------------------------------

The reason there were failures in the cooling system and power supply to the pumps was due to the Stuxnet virus which was planted in the system.There was no critical damage from the tsunami or earthquake.The public have been fed a lot of disinformation over Fukushima. Contrary to what most people have been told, the generators never got swamped by water.

I recommend people search " Jim Stone." He is very well versed on nuclear reactors and design and has special information on the Fukushima power plant and it's design. I will have to archive this as JT in the past has deleted my contraversial posts. The information is extensive.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The defendant will lose due to Article 4 of the following law.

Genshiryokusonngaino baishouni kannsuru houritu

(Law on Compensations of Damages of Nuclear Power)

Article 3. If nuclear damage is caused by operation of a nuclear plant while the nuclear plant is in operation, the operator of the nuclear plant is liable to compensate the damages, UNLESS the damage was caused by an extraordinary natural disaster or by social rioting.

Article 4. In the case the previous article applies, no other person but the operator is liable to compensate the damages.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

On 27 February 2012, NISA ordered TEPCO to report by 12 March 2012 regarding its reasoning in changing the piping layout for the emergency cooling system. These changes were made after the plans were registered in 1966 and the beginning of construction. The original plans separated the piping systems for two reactors in the isolation condenser from each other. However, the application for approval of the construction plan showed the two piping systems connected outside the reactor. The changes were not noted, in violation of regulations

In 2002, TEPCO admitted falsifying safety records for unit 1. The scandal and a fuel leak at Fukushima Daini forced the company to shut all 17 of its reactors. A power board distributing electricity to temperature control valves was not examined for 11 years. Inspections did not cover cooling systems devices such as water pump motors and diesel generators.

On 30 October 1991, one of two backup generators of reactor 1 failed, after flooding in the reactor's basement. Seawater used for cooling leaked into the turbine building from a corroded pipe at 20 cubic meters per hour. On 29 December 2011, TEPCO publicly admitted that the room was flooded through a door and some holes for cables, but the power supply was not cut off by the flooding, and the reactor was stopped for one day. One of the two power sources was completely submerged, but its drive mechanism had remained unaffected.

In 2007, TEPCO set up a department to supervise its nuclear facilities. Until June 2011 its chairman was Masao Yoshida, the Fukushima Daiichi chief. An 2008 in-house study identified an immediate need to better protect the facility from flooding by seawater. This study mentioned the possibility of tsunami-waves up to 10.2 metres (33 ft). Headquarters officials insisted that such a risk was unrealistic and did not take the prediction seriously.

All these failures and many more we'll probably never know about...are due to the reactors' designers?? No. They are clearly due to TEPCO's repeated and willful negligence, as well as the Kan government's asinine response to the emergency. As the Economist concluded on the matter: "The operating company was poorly regulated and did not know what was going on. The operators made mistakes. The representatives of the safety inspectorate fled. Some of the equipment failed. The establishment repeatedly played down the risks and suppressed information about the movement of the radioactive plume, so some people were evacuated from more lightly to more heavily contaminated places."

3 ( +5 / -2 )

These people are just trolling. Find the leader and it will all go away!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

onedragon,agreed!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The plant operated for over 40 years, so there was nothing wrong with the original building. These people are just wasting their own time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

is a landmark challenge of current regulations that give manufacturers immunity from liability, immunity for manufacturers....so no matter how dangerous a product is, how failed or how much damage a product may cause...immunity!!! Company's have more rights than individuals, government ministers have more money than those who vote for them. Now that is balance?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Zach I,

You're the only person that I've seen claim that the earthquake caused the problems at Day I chi. In fact I've read on Forbes that it's unquestionably untrue.

What evidence do you have for it to be the case?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I don't blame the builders. I blame TEPCO management for cost cutting for profit over recommended safeguards against natural disasters. Sue them!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@heda_madness - a number of employees wrote of seeing the pipes rupture following the earthquake, so the emergency cooling water systems (gravity powered) had already lost their integrity. Whistleblowers and former staff also wrote of having to use heavy machinery to move pipes into position for welding, due to design and manufacturing deficiencies, thus the pipes were already under stress. Just search for it - it's out there...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just search for it - it's out there...

It's your argument and your claim, so if it's out there, it's up to you to show where it is.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The alarms for a breach of containment were sounding off before the Tsunami hit, it was damaged, it was denied (unbelievable! a denial of fact) BBC were showing explosions but the government said its OK? Wanderlust is right, there are so many sources to see and read as to factual events that ( it's unbelievable people still trust the Gov). There might be more to come but we might not find out as it may be now a state secret and the press club really do not want to make trouble. Aahhhh Democracy Middle Ages style...got to love it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

They are seeking compensation of 100 yen each

Moderator, is this a typo?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The design of the four affected Fukushima reactors “has proven to be safe for more than 40 years around the globe,” White said. Really? Is that why the safeguards failed within a minute at Fukushima? And so safe that nuclear plants cannot be insured as the damages from a nuclear accident are INCALCUABLE

Fukushima and Chernobyl sites will still be dangerously active after Mr White is but a memory.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No, it's correct. It is just a symbolic amount.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why don't the government sue TEPCO for the people who are affected then use the proceeds of the money to rebuild those areas affected and peoples lives?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So the conclusive evidence is that there is a possibility?

I would say that there would be a strong possibility that if it hadn't been for the tsunami knocking out the back up power, causing untold damage and flooding the site with water then they could have prevented any escalation.

But none of that supports a claim that Fukushima was extensively damaged in the earthquake or that there was major damage to the reactors.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Hiroshima Syndrome suggests some of the "big" evidence for earthquake damage actually shows that the whistleblower does not know how Boiling Water Reactors work:

Mr. Kimura’s interpretation of the data immediately following the earthquake seems to be based on misconceptions relative to BWR operating phenomena. He says that as soon as the quake ceased, “about 30 percent of coolant inside the core started flowing backwards and that after the coolant flow returned to the normal flow direction, the core flow fluctuated and eventually became less than zero.” If he had any operational training or experience with a BWR, he would have known what really happened.

During full-power operation of a BWR, a massive amount of steam is constantly being produced inside the fuel core of the reactor vessel. Two large pumps are constantly recirculating the water flow through the core to uniformly admix the steam with the water. The monitored steam/water level is actually several feet above the fuel bundles showing the top of the mixture. When the reactor experiences a full, rapid automatic shutdown (SCRAM), the steam is quickly washed from the fuel core. Indicated water level necessarily drops due to the volume of steam no longer in the core area. Reactor operators and operation’s engineers call this phenomenon “shrink”. A reasonable analogy would be what happens when a pan of hot liquid boils-over on the household stove. When the pan is removed from the heat, the boiling almost immediately stops and the roiling mixture of bubbles and hot liquid rapidly “shrinks” down to only hot fluid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kaimycahl

J Govt owns over 50% of TEPCO due to the trillions of Yen Bailout of 2012. So J Govt can't sue themselves. I think the 1,415 could have put some demands in their suet like entombment of those damaged reactors left open to the elements because asking for Yen no matter how small does not alleviate the problem of Contamination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

**Fukushima cesium leaks 'equal 168 Hiroshima bombs,' says report

National Aug. 26, 2011 - 10:45AM JS**

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/fukushima-cesium-leaks-equal-168-hiroshima-bombs-says-report

Has anything changed since this article was written in August 2011? The Contamination may have gotten worse due to spreading it around for disposal and the weather plays a part in spreading contamination. The suet could have been more thought out to include something about contamination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zichi,

The PDF you link to makes clear that the tsunami damage to the sea water pumps was critical. Also, water cooled diesel generators just use water to move waste heat to a radiator - they do not require a constant supply of water. As for the water needed by the reactors, as in reality, fire pumps could have transported distilled water to them, or sea water could have been used.

Utrack, just because potential cesium leaks could have as much cesium as 168 Hiroshima bombs does not mean they have the same potential to damage. I'm sure there are plenty of trucks which have as much metal as a Hiroshima bomb, but that does not mean they are as dangerous as one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Star-viking

The article of the report does not say COULD it says CESIUM leaks equal 168 Hiroshima bombs. Nothing about metal either

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zichi

You've said that the earthquake caused major damage to the reactors, you have said it caused extensive damage to the reactors

Yet you haven't posted any corroborating evidence to show there was either major or extensive.

You are clearly well read on this subject and people believe what you say to be true.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The 2011 earthquake caused extensive damage to the plant, its equipment, the reactors and off site power and water supplies.

You're claiming that there was extensive damage. This is untrue. A gross exaggeration of any facts that you may have presented. You have presented a guy who worked there 11 years ago. But there's no evidence from him that the reactors were damaged.

So Zichi, why are you claiming that there was extensive damage to the reactors in the March 11 earthquake? When you've so far failed to present any evidence that there was any damage to the reactors never mind 'extensive'

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

If people are looking for a perfect world, they are delusional. There is nothing that man can build that will withstand the energy produced by an earthquake of significant magnitude, or the power of a tsunami. If it can be shown that the construction was deficient, and this deficiency resulted in overheating of reactors, then by all means hold these builders accountable. Otherwise, the lawsuit is a waste of time and resources.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi, what relevance is that to this discussion? Whenever you get caught making an exaggerated statement (at best) you make an off topic, irrelevant attack.

Just accept that there is no evidence that dai ichi's reactor suffered extensive damage. That you were wrong to claim otherwise and move on.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No bickering please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well it only took seven irrelevant paragraphs to get to this:

The earthquake damaged the reactors, and I would call any damage to reactors and its important associated plant equipment very serious

So, in your opinion, the damage to the reactor was serious.To the experts it wasn't.

Secondly, you may think the couple of things were serious. It's certainly not extensive though, is it?

But you then try and hide this by another inaccurate and irrelevant rant. Such as

Nuclear energy can't solve the problem of global power demand and can't provide enough nuclear plants to change the problem of climate change.

But coal can can't it? Gas can, can't it? You support the destruction of the planet. Just as long as it's not nuclear.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

A possibilty Zichi, a possibility. Hardly proves that there was extensive damage does it?

You know what Zichi, I bow to your amazing expertise on the subject. I believe that you know more than any expert. I realise that my university education on Chernobyl was a complete waste of time and that you know everything,

I too wish I'd read a couple of pages from Enews and gained the levels of expertise that you have.

http://enenews.com/former-tepco-engineer-fukushima-meltdown-ignited-quake-tsunami-serious-damage-caused-reactor-lose-coolant-wont-be-long-lies-exposed-expert-all-units-sustained-damage-quake-audio

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Heda_Madness and zichi, please do not address each other on this thread any further since neither of you is being civil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wipeout - here's an argument as to why nuclear power should be used in Japan

More people have died in Japan since March 10, 2011 from fossil fuels than will die from the nuclear disaster. That's unquestionable. As a result of Japan changing their energy policy many, many more will die. Again this is without doubt.

I'm not entirely sure why I need to provide the proof. I asked someone to prove that there was extensive damage, that hasn't happened. I've read countless arguments showing that this has been over played by the media. And it's not helped by the mistruths spread on message boards.

But as this is the first time I'v e been asked for proof - I will go and find it.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

2 eye witness accounts of pipes buckling and coming apart after the earthquake and before the tsunami

Meltdown: What Really Happened at Fukushima? http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2011/07/meltdown-what-really-happened-fukushima/39541/ Been picked up and repeated many times on different websites, but it's from:

Jake Adelsteins' s article - based on interviews with workers at the plant.

Also, Kei Sugaoka, former engineer at Fukushima, also talks about the vulnerability of pipes

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Zichi,

Do you actually have data for the EPGs? While I may have been mixing up water-cooled engines with water-cooled generators - the latter requring no outside source of waters, how much of a flow-rate is necessary for the Dai-ichi EPGs? And more importantly, could they have been brought back online before the battery power was lost?

On the subject of the isolation condenser, I don't have time to trawl through the youtube link, but TEPCO posted that the IC was operated correctly. Even if the account on youtube is accurate, if the tsunami was not a factor then staff would have been in the building to deal with such problems - if necessary.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/info/12051001-e.html

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sorry, I came back to this thread a day later but I couldn't post as I was the previous. Hadn't realised it had been continued.

I haven't been able to find the exact link that I mentioned before. I did however find an article in January from TEPCO that confirmed that the situation of Dai Ichi was caused by the tsunami and not by the earthquake.

I know that no-one will believe Tepco but still.

There is simply no evidence that the reactors were damaged extensively in the earthquake. None.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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