After extensive questioning by the prosecutors, reports are coming in that it is highly unlikely that any charges will be brought against former Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) executives over their roles in the 2011 nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Complaints were filed by citizens who were most affected by the worst nuclear disaster in recent years.
Prosecutors questioned Kan as well as former TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu about what they could have done to prevent such an incident from happening or worsening. The conclusion reached was that it is extremely difficult to say that they could have predicted a big earthquake and tsunami to hit the Tohoku region, which then led to the nuclear reactors in the Fukushima plant to malfunction. The formal decision will probably be given as early as this month, but as there will not be any charges most likely, this casts a huge blow on the thousands of individuals who are still suffering from the after-effects of the disaster; from the fishermen who still cannot earn from their only source of livelihood to the residents who until now cannot go back to their homes for fear of radiation. They were hoping to gain one form of compensation or another through this case in the courts, but even that will be denied to them.
The preliminary decision is also counter to what TEPCO said last year, that the meltdown and disaster could have been avoided if only the safety improvements were properly implemented. Their internal investigation, led by President Naomi Hirose concluded that if the necessary measures were implemented based on previous tsunami evaluations, then it wouldn’t have reached this level.
Two years later and TEPCO is still struggling with clean-up efforts, with the latest being them admitting that their radioactive water seeping into the Pacific Ocean. That scenario alone can turn into “an environmental crisis of epic proportions”. The government is already taking steps to take over some of the responsibilities to fix this problem as they obviously cannot rely on the utility company to settle this serious problem. And yet, it boggles the mind that the prosecutors who are investigating the people’s claims still cannot find TEPCO and the previous administration at fault for what happened at Fukushima.
[ via RT ]