Home Topics in Depth Foreign Affairs Japanese Government’s Liable For Negligence Over Fukushma

  • Eggar (1141 posts)
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    Japanese Government’s Liable For Negligence Over Fukushma


    Court Rules Government Should Have Used Regulatory Powers To Force Nuclear Plant’s Operator To Take Preventive Measures

     

    By Justin McCurry, http://www.theguardian.com
    March 18th, 2017


    A court in Japan has ruled that negligence by the state contributed to the triple meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 and awarded significant damages to evacuees. Although courts have awarded damages arising from the disaster in other cases, Friday’s ruling is the first time the government has been held liable.

    The Maebashi district court near Tokyo awarded ¥38.55m (£270,000) to 137 people who were forced to evacuate their homes in the days after three of Fukushima Daiichi’s six reactors suffered a catastrophic meltdown, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Despite official claims that the size and destructive power of the quake and tsunami were impossible to foresee, the court said the nuclear meltdown could have been prevented.

    The ruling said the government should have used its regulatory powers to force the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), who were also held liable, to take adequate preventive measures. The plaintiffs – comprising forced and “voluntary” evacuees – claimed the government and Tepco could have predicted a tsunami more than 10 metres in height would one day hit the plant.

    They based their claim on a 2002 report in which government experts estimated there was a one in five chance of a magnitude-8 earthquake occurring and triggering a powerful tsunami within the next 30 years.  At the time of the disaster, Japan’s nuclear regulator was severely criticised for its collusive ties with the nuclear industry, resulting in the formation of a new watchdog that has imposed stricter criteria for the restart of nuclear reactors that were shut down in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

     

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    leveymg, broiles like this

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  • Ferd Berfel (2925 posts)
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    1. We have several reactors of teh exact same design in this country

    When one of them melts down here, the Tax payers are on the hook – for ever!

    We need to shut down ALL nukes in this country asap.

    …and you think you’re going to stop this simply by ‘pulling a lever’, in a booth, behind a curtain, every 2 years? Know yourself. And if you need help, call the FBI.
    • leveymg (1790 posts)
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      2. The nuclear power industry had Congress cap liability by law so they don't care

      The attitude is, GE and the operators have already factored their limited liability for a catastrophic failure into pricing and rates, so what difference does a meltdown or radiation release make to them?  Not like any of their executives live near the damn things, anyway.

  • Rosa Luxemburg (1054 posts)
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    3. It's still churning out radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean

    don’t know why they built a nuclear power station on the coast which is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis.

    The more that social democracy develops, grows, and becomes stronger, the more the enlightened masses of workers will take their own destinies, the leadership of their movement, and the determination of its direction into their own hands. Rosa Luxemburg.    
    • Art from Ark (1730 posts)
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      4. All Japanese reactors are on seacoasts

      It’s a way of having a steady supply of cooling water.

      There is no place in Japan that is really safe from earthquakes. They can happen anywhere in this island country which is underlain by four different tectonic plates (and numerous land-based faults).

      The Fukushima Dai-ichi complex was built at a time when Japan was having some serious energy shortages (60s and 70s).

      Japanese tsunamis are almost always relatively mild (any sea wave generated by a seismic event is considered a tsunami in Japan, even if it’s only a foot high).  But even with the historic tsunami and earthquake (9.0), two reactor complexes that were closer to the March 11, 2011 epicenter and were also hit by the tsunami (Onnagawa and Fukushima Dai-ni) did not sustain anywhere near the damage that Dai-ichi did.

    • FanBoy (6313 posts)
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      5. same reason seabrook reactor was built on a river within miles of the

      ocean and Hanford reactor was built on the columbia

      not to mention numerous other US reactors built on major waters

      I’d think a putative socialist might understand the reasoning