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TEPCO admits Fukushima crisis could have been avoided

44 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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44 Comments
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Wow! I'm surprised they admitted it. Now they'll feared the political, economic and legal consequences of not implementing them. Hopefully this will lead to more money for the victims, but I'm not holding my breath.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

but it had feared the political, economic and legal consequences of implementing them.

It's a shame they didn't fear the same consequences for NOT implementing them, isn't it?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

But, I don't understand, they said for the last year it was a "freak" accident they could not have planned for?

Now they claim this???

Had they followed the law, had they played by the rules it would not have happened! Where is my helicopter? OH, someone else is using it! And there is a protocol for this.

We can't do anything but fly cash to you... Not like we care or have any way to help. Why are the bosses not in jail? ,

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"acknowledged for the first time Friday that it could have avoided the crisis."

Wow.

"Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said .... it had feared the political, economic and legal consequences of implementing them."

There's a lesson for all of us in there somewhere.

"feared efforts to better protect nuclear facilities from severe accidents such as tsunamis would trigger ...

anti-nuclear sentiment,"

"interfere with operations"

And look what happened. I guess the real lesson is simply to do the right thing.

This case study should be taught from kindergarten. What better example is there of not doing the things that should be done because of reasons, which come back at you 1000 times bigger if you don't do them. "Remember Fukushima!"

"TEPCO bitterly criticized what it said was excessive interference from the government and the prime minister’s office."

After all that they have the gall to criticize someone else? Amazing.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

All over the world everyone has this perception that the Japanese are very professional and dilligent.... on an individual basis I think they are.... but on the corporate level.... the inability of the individual to speak up degrades the structure.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Why is TEPCO still in business, especially the nuclear one? Not a single official from TEPCO, the gov't or the heads of the previous safety agencies will face prosecution? That in itself is criminal."

Zichi. I'd like to give 100 thumbs up to that statement. Ironically, I just said the same thing to my wife over breakfast. "How is it possible that instead of being on trial or in jail, Shimizu has another great job? This nearly resulted in the evacuation of Tokyo, and as it is thousands are displaced etc etc, and Shimizu is an executive in a company right now". Are Japanese ok with that?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Well they are definitely the last in a long line to publicly say this. 99% of us already have said this, so it would be hard for them to hold on to their lies and delusions. A totally corrupt culture of despotism and cronyism permeates that company. It should be destroyed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"All over the world everyone has this perception that the Japanese are very professional and dilligent.... on an individual basis I think they are."

Yeah, I agree. The people I have worked with are fabulous people who go far beyond the call of duty. If they are told to do something they'll do it. It's the rats at the top that wreck this country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Finally TEPCO admits Fukushima crisis could have been avoided!! WOW!! That is not in the Japanese way of doing things. I thought it was better for the Japanese to lie and cover up their mistakes!!

Now that they finally admitted to the lies that they have been telling everyone, what will they do to compensate everyone for their stupidity? PROBABLY NOTHING!!!

Japan has become a nation filled with idiots!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting that they got a foreigner Dale Klein to do it though. He'd be an interesting guy to interview.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This admission has to be welcomed.

We can only hope it's the start of more enlightened thinking in Japan Inc - it's better to do something about it now than to ask for forgiveness later.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Really? We've been saying this for the past year and a half.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All over the world everyone has this perception that the Japanese are very professional and dilligent.... on an individual basis I think they are.... but on the corporate level.... the inability of the individual to speak up degrades the structure.

I have to agree with that. Japanese love to say that they are very professional, capable, responsible and diligent, while often (and very freely in my experience) criticizing the quality of work from other countries. I wonder where else in Japanese society disasters such as TEPCO are waiting to found. Olympus and Daio have been found out, and I'm expecting more.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This coming at this very late stage does not help anyone including themselves.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As much as this is good news and common knowledge for most, they still are not addressing the safety issues that caused the meltdowns. They need to waterproof the electrical systems and get the back up generators off ground level or the same thing will happen again. Until they do this there is no safety. Sea walls are not enough.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In the light of wanting to start other reactors, this is a ploy to make it look like should another disaster occur, the nuclear power station will be in complete control.

They have learned the errors of their ways and no human error could possibly happen again.

Think about it.

If anyone is charged, I stand correct, but nobody will be arrested and questioned.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well then, start by putting Shimizu in cuffs, then locking up the rest of the former administration. If it could have been avoided that means that the company is legally to blame for the trillions it's going to take for clean-up, the trillions in government bailouts, the many, many suicides that have occurred as a result of the thousands upon thousands displaced due to the incident.

Now, I know that the government literally owns a majority stake in the company now, but how can a nation sit by and suffer while these guys clown around, make millions, deny responsibility, then have others later admit people before them were irresponsible -- and all the while no one does ANYTHING about it??

4 ( +4 / -0 )

alladin: "That is not in the Japanese way of doing things. I thought it was better for the Japanese to lie and cover up their mistakes!!"

No, the Japanese way is to deny the obvious, continue to deny the obvious when presented with the facts, 'retire' for health reasons while saying it was not your fault, accept a massive payout (golden parachute), take up a job as a 'special consultant' and make a huge salary at a sister company, then leave it to your successor to admit a few years down the road that there were problems in the past, but that current administration cannot be blamed as they have improved things. (rinse, repeat).

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Incredible how having just one foreigner overseeing TEPCO ,s " reform " committee makes them admit what they denied for so long. ( echoes of Olympus here )? Japan Inc. needs more top class foreigners within their rotten useless amakudari infested boards and top management than ever to force proper disclosure and accountability here. Of course we all know they will never permit it unless they face the most dire of situations.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well, that took long enough. Seppuku, anybody. Who wants to be first?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Smith - bareta!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

First step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. Good for TEPCO to admit to this. Now go and improve the system!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TEPCO should invest in solar energy than nuclear power. Dismiss all those amakudaris are employ only necessary people..Cut the costs and make more solar power for Japan. Be the model for all other nations...We see a better world. We need house hold electricity power house....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Time for everyone to stop calling it an "accident" (事故) and start calling it a "man-made disaster" (人災). Also time to start litigation proceedings.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Obvious and old news of the day!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Now bring in the spin-doctors

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

should have trained employees with practical crisis management skills rather than conduct obligatory drills as a formality

21st century Japan in a nutshell. Process over meaningful results. And no leaders with the guts to be real change agents since they are all products of this "paper-pushing" system themselves. Very depressing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well we are hearing what we all have known! But lets remember these EXACT problems are pervasive IN ALL OF JAPAN INC!

Japan must stop with only dealing with perception, it needs to deal with reality in every industry in this country, its all rotten at the core & has been spreading outwards for decades now

And like other I demand management of the past decade be rounded up for trial, no suspended sentences either, bonuses & pensions reposessed, assets liquidated, GET GOING ALREADY!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can't help but be left wondering if there was something lost in translation here. How is it that increasing the safety of a nuclear plant leads to anti nuclear backlash? Any Ideas? I can understand them saying... We want to line our pockets with more profits. I can understand them saying... It's too troublesome and costly, therefore it's easier to pay off government regulators. I am having a hard time swallowing how they can say that making their nuclear fleet safer would somehow trigger anti nuclear backlash. The logic behind this is flawed to my way of thinking. Are they trying to say that the meltdown is the fault of the anti nuclear crowd because if they improved safety people would complain? Therefore we didn't do it and now we had a meltdown? It's our fault, but it isn't?

Ridiculous!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is only one reason why these guys are admitting fault, and that is because if they didn't it would be an argument against continued use of nuclear power. If you can't avoid accidents, then you shouuldn't run nuclear power plants would be the obvious argument.

However, the reasons that they have given for not doing things properly are mostly nonsense. They routinely skipped on safety procedures to make more money. That was the bottom line then, and a monetary motivation for this admission of theirs is the bottom line now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think we should at least give them credit for this where credit's due. Sure it's not much, but it's something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice timing to admit all this NOW when the country is more preoccupied with China and some islands. Heh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just one small objection here for a minute, quote: "Additional safety measures have been installed at nuclear power plants nationwide since the accident under the government’s instructions, including enhancing seawalls,..."

Er, no. Fukushima Daiichi has a hastily-erected temporary plug in front of it. They are not building a wall there, perhaps because they are not planning to be operating those melted-down reactors again. It is virtually defenseless right now.

If another Tsunami comes, everything will be destroyed and washed out to sea, causing the worst nuclear disaster in history. But at least Tepco will be able to finally wash their hands of it and say with conviction "This was an unforeseen natural disaster. Now it really is not our problem any more."

Except that this time it will be, once again...man-made.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No surprise on no punishment, as all Govts of the world are corrupt and run by the billionaires. In some countries, however, the billionaires are benevolent and the population is happy. Mostly Socialistic countries.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They are admitting now because they want to built a 40 meter high tsunami wall and a water proof cooling system lol...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is criminal! They now admit they knew their safety was not upto scratch! Why is there NO ONE IN JAIL?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

By admitting 19 months after the fact, they are forcing us to believe they can make secure NPP to re-start them. This is nothing else than a vicious PR from the nuke village: sacrifice TEPCO the incompetent to validate the "international NPP security standard". While the IAEA did nothing in the past 30 years!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

almxxOct. 13, 2012 - 04:52PM JST No surprise on no punishment, as all Govts of the world are corrupt and run by the billionaires.

But other govts at least have some basic knowledge, France and US govts proposed to help but both them were rejected in the very beginning! After 311, JP people did well but JP Govt was totally useless!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most legally advanced nations have strict liability laws concerning dangerous substances-in my reckoning if it can be shown that radioactive substances have entered the food chain and/or our bodies then Tepco is liable.

In the event that I contract cancer I will have the radioactive contamination check and will instruct my lawyer to sue Tepco.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Poor Kan. What happened to Kan is a reminder of how ruthless and immoral--and dangerous--Japan's nuclear industry is. TEPCO finally admitted the obvious because they had no choice. Still, they tried to pin some of their stupidity on the anti-nuclear movement, claiming they were afraid of them. TEPCO is still armed and dangerous. This public enemy should be dismantled brick by brick and every nuclear facility shut down forever. We cannot afford another nuclear disaster--which is in the cards, given the people who run the nuclear industry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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