Сourt rules on Fukushima nuclear disaster — Analysis
Nearly $100 billion has been awarded to NPP Operator Company’s former managers by an order to four ex-managers
Tokyo District Court ruled on Wednesday that four former managers of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) must pay ¥13.32 trillion ($97 billion) in damages to the company over the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, local media outlets report.
The Japan Times reports that the suit was brought by shareholders against five top executives at TEPCO. Plaintiffs claimed that they failed to adequately mitigate the effects of the tsunami and earthquake in 2011 which caused three meltdowns at TEPCO’s reactors.
Four of the defendants were not found guilty, which includes Tsunehisa Catsumata (the former chairman); Masataka Shimzu, TEPCO’s chief executive officer and president between 2008 and 2011; and Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro.
AkioKomori was not found responsible for the Fukushima accident.
The ruling said that TEPCO’s steps to brace for the tsunami “Fundamentally lacking safety awareness and sense of responsibility.” The court also said that the disaster might have been avoided if the company’s management had performed some construction work to prevent flooding in certain areas.
“Human error is possible with any technology. Nuclear power plants, however, can do irreparable harm to people and the environment.” the plaintiffs said after the court delivered its verdict. “These nuclear plant operators are responsible for a lot of responsibility. This is not the case with other businesses.”
The defendants were required to compensate a lot, but three of them (Katsumata and Takekuro) had been exonerated by the same court in September 2019.
Fukushima was the result of a devastating tsunami and an earthquake that struck the island in 2011. The Fukushima nuclear disaster was caused by a massive meltdown. It is the deadliest nuclear incident since 1986 Chernobyl.
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