Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Trial Ends With Acquittals of 3 Executives

The verdict makes it likely that no one will be held criminally responsible for the 2011 meltdown in Japan, which caused damage that could linger for generations.

Comments: 87

  1. The Fukushima disaster was an unprecedented experience and I remember like it was yesterday where I was when the accident/tsunami occurred. It ranked up there with 9/11 and the space shuttle launch, but nobody could have predicted such a large tsunami at that location would knock out all the backup safety systems. It was an accident pure and simple and to foot the blame on three executives is just a bunch of lawyers trying to appease the people of Japan with some blame for a problem they will have for many many years.

  2. @Ted Siebert In my thinking the error was not in prediction so much as to have positioned the critical backup system lower than the reactors and closer to the ocean. It just seems to me to be illogical to place the safety system in a more dangerous place than the reactors that it was designed to protect. I fault the engineering.

  3. @Sam Song Good point, but the negligence of TEPCO is criminal and if justice can’t be found in Japanese courts, the matter should be presented to the ICC. No nukes!

  4. How can the engineering be faulted when no one here knows all the parameters that had to be met? The last 30yrs have created a generation or two that has no idea what a first world life entails. Power, fuel, sewer, food, transportation are all just something that is switched on and off for too many People will have to learn there is environmental risk in any energy source larger than two people huddling together to stay warm.

  5. The research pointing to the tsunami risk at Fukushima came out years before the disaster. Whether the research was actually valid or not is not really the issue... TEPCO should have either acted on the research - given its implications - or refuted it in a convincing way; but instead they just ignored it... That was the real crime.

  6. A disaster. A tragedy. Lives lost. Tsunamis do those things. In this country we already have had several 100 or 1000 year floods one after another. The planning stage of building a reactor complex in that location was when and where the changes in plans should have been made, if there were indicators of what might happen in the future. I'm not sure from the press reports that those problems were known at the time. The loss of life and lack of planning for the tsunamis in Indonesia shows that things happen when water and people are involved. You cannot insist that everything be built thousands of feet above sea level, or that people who love the water and beach and make their living from those things must live tens of miles inland. Anger and grief drive people, and those insisting on someone's head to roll will have to be disappointed with the verdict.

  7. They knew there was a significant chance of a tsunami large enough to cause a catastrophic meltdown, and they said nothing. If that’s not criminal negligence, it’s at least a lesson for the future: we should never again believe anyone who says that nuclear power is safe.

  8. @Edgar W. Pope Considering the tens of thousands of people who died in the tsunami and the none who died from the reactors, even when everything fell apart, it seems bizarre to call this catastrophic on the reactor's part. More died to panicking about the situation. And reactors around the world have already made changes to handle even one of the largest tsunamis in human history.

  9. @Chris Hinricher The number of people who died is not the only issue. 160,000 people were evacuated because of the reactor accident, and half of those people are still displaced. Whole communities were uprooted and dispersed, causing immeasurable stress and suffering. That’s a catastrophe.

  10. Chernobyl was criminal negligence. Everyone new of the tsunami risk in this case, that’s why there was a sea wall to block rising seas. The tsunami was just higher. These types of hazards are designed from the consensus of seismologists. You couldn’t build anything if you reacted to every potential report. I promise you one thing: put 7 seismologists in a room and you will get 7 very different answers.

  11. The question is not whether there was a tsunami risk but whether the protections in place — the levees and the backup generators — were inadequate. The US needs a system like Japan’s where citizens can review and initiate prosecutorial decisions. Grand juries only see what the prosecutors present. If only US companies exhibited as much contrition and diligence.

  12. Personal for my family and I. We evacuated to Seoul. We were very lucky to have been able to do so. Clear to me that the risk was known, the reports were made, no action was taken. Japan has earthquakes every day so tsunami risk is high every day. Clear also that TEPCO measured the risk but decided that financial gain was more important. People at the top were uneducated concerning engineering and nuclear power- oh, you didn’t know? Buyer beware.

  13. Accidents happen, human beings fail to anticipate dangers or fail to take precautions. Given this, does it make sense to employ a technology that is capable of rendering entire regions uninhabitable for centuries? Note the recent drone attacks on Saudi oil refineries. Imagine a similar attack on the Indian Point nuclear power plant, 36 miles from New York City.

  14. @Doug Hill Nuclear containment structures are built far sturdier than a drone could possibly damage.

  15. @Jeff Are you speaking of the drone itself, or any armaments the drone might be capable of firing?

  16. In a nation prone to earthquakes and tsunamis, it seems foolhardy to locate nuclear plants on the east coast (where tsunamis can build to great heights as waves skip ahead and pile up height as they cover vast distances of the Pacific).

  17. The fact is, you have to make judgements about hazard level in design. We do it every day, and something can come along bigger than what we thought. We can’t prosecute for not knowing the future.

  18. But now all of this is OUR problem. Japan is about to start dumping the radioactive water. It seems that they are running out of space/containers. Count on that dumped water being carried to Alaska, West Coast, all the way down to South America, then circling back around and winding back up in Japan. Sad that that water can't be dumped over the heads of these 3 men - and the judge. No justice.

  19. @rosa The triated water is fine. It's relatively easy to find the document ICRP 119 online for dosage factors, find a reference to the dpm of the water in the tanks, and then do a little bit of grade school math to calculate an approximate dose from it. I calculated that if I drank ONLY triated water from their tanks for a year (not tanks with Cs-137) that I'd still get a smaller dose over that year than I'd get if I vacationed in Colorado for a few weeks. Tritium is a very weak beta emitter.

  20. There is a similar situation unfolding in the San Diego area. Southern California Edison (SCE) shut down its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) due to faulty parts received for a rebuild of part of the plant. Due to there being no national storage for nuclear fuel, they have elected to store the fuel in so called Dry Cask Storage on the beach at SONGS. The storage area is also protected by a sea wall. The storage is about 10 ft above the high tide line. They are using thin walled storage containers that are being gouged during lowering into the storage wells. There is a significant fault a couple of miles off shore. The public is allowed to come up to the base of the sea wall (it is a popular surfing spot). The San Diego region has been hit by a hurricane in recorded history. The 50 year projected sea rise is 5+ feet in our area, not counting storm surge. Many of the utilities that supply San Diego run in a corridor right next to the plant, except for the railroad. It goes through the plant. The projected service life of the storage containers, not counting gouging, is 60 years. The fuel will be lethal for thousands of years. Community leaders, activists and citizens have repeatedly told SCE and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that this storage plan is an active danger to the nearby communities and the region. That it is not a matter of if a catastrophic event will happen, only when. We have been assured "Its Safe."

  21. We live in a post-reality world. Facts no longer exist. No one is ever accountable. Court's purpose is to exonerate the powerful. No problem can be solved, because no common frame of reference binds us. During the next serious crisis, we will have a real problem. This new tower of Babel is rebuilt, and is infinitely tall.

  22. Hindsight is 20/20. This system cost billions, and many engineers undoubtedly reviewed the design. It is not always the case that because there was great harm, that there were hideous culprits that must pay. Compare this to the financial crisis, where there really was great wrongdoing by the financial industry, yet no one went to jail (and in fact, have strengthened their grip on Washington).

  23. I wonder how much it costs to decommission a group of old wind turbines, old solar panels, and old, small, hydroelectric dams. What long lasting environmental problems result with the demolition debris and how vulnerable are the installations to storms?

  24. Eric Holder put his top people in charge of going after the banks but they couldn't make the case. Something has to be against the law to prosecute. In addition, there has to be evidence. The great recession was primarily an issue of inadequate regulations married to extreme animalistic spirit of wild west capitalism gone off the rails. Internal bank data is proprietary, thus when dozens of banks were all engaging in risky behavior, chartered with a duty to maximize profits in a competitive arena, who is responsible when they're all doing it individually with no consciousness of risk to the collective economy under inadequate regulation thanks to GOP economic Libertarians ideology. 10's of thousands of bankers, mortgage lenders, underwriters, investors, all working in different private companies, without any central data hub, behaving on their own best interests. Millions bought houses to rent or flip, lied about their income or claiming future rent and appreciation as foundational net worth to get multiple loans in excess of the collateral value of the properties. Unless you 're willing to somehow investigate millions of Americans for lying to get loans, investigate thousands of mortgage brokers for doctoring loan apps with and w/o the applicants direct knowledge, prosecute appraisers, the massive failure of the regulatory apparatus then stop with this canard that bankers got away w something. It was a collective failure due to lack of regulation & human nature.

  25. Why should we expect anything different? A lack of accountability and punishment for the rich and powerful when they commit crimes far more heinous than so called lower and blue collar crime. This is part and parcel of class warfare.

  26. Let us not forget the action that our then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, pushed Japanese PM Abe to make it a State crime of Espionage to report on Fukushima, post disaster. A media blackout meant to squelch information and ensure that people don't panic, and indeed forget. I don't believe they are able to capture all the contaminated radioactive waste coming off those reactors on a daily basis. Years ago, they showed plumes of radioactive cesium contaminated sea water crossing the Pacific Ocean and going right up our West coast. You don't see those anymore.

  27. @Valerie Wells I'm not in the least defending TEPCO, but I wonder if you know that some of those "contamination" graphics weren't that at all. They were maps of ocean currents, repurposed either knowingly or unwittingly to frighten people. That's probably why you don't see those anymore. They are fakes. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/fukushima-emergency/

  28. @DM In further reading, it appears you are correct. However, the problem remains. Hundreds of storage tanks with one being built every four days is not a viable solution to the worlds greatest nuclear disasters.

  29. I guess a dumb engineering error is not criminal but it certainly is a cold water slap in the face for 'clever' engineers. Let's see, the backup power was critical to preventing this event so let's put it in the basement when the plant is subject to flooding, excellent idea. Maybe the next dumbest part is storing large quantities of dangerous materials on-site. We in the US are terribly guilty of this, the idea of not moving dangerous materials to a safe site is just stupid. This part is driven by politics, even worse than an engineering error.

  30. @David Wiswell The only dumb thought is one that risks can be eliminated, that we have perfect information and perfect plans and perfect workers with a perfect government. Look at the stats and note life is better for more today than ever before in history. Life has risks and errors. We learn from them. Nuclear power is using old technology because of the fear of citizens who don't allow for innovation.

  31. @David Wiswell I was going to make the same comment about the stupid positioning of the backup generators. Perhaps -- as with computing -- there's something about the true meaning of "backup" that eludes many people, leading them to be careless about it.

  32. Sanction Japan. How else do you punish them?

  33. Same thing would happen here in the US. Only poor people go to jail unless the crime has something to do with sex.

  34. @Dundeemundee Last I checked Bernie Madoff's crime had nothing to do with sex.

  35. Perhaps some should look into Japan's past: the tsunami stones that line the island. Japan already lacks the available land, and planning for 30foot waves..who is doing that? Even if they could have anticipated a Magnitude 9 (!!!) and 10 meter wall of water, they would have to have used up most of the town and hillside to get that elevation. If you lived there, you would have to move. And to where? Are we holding Verizon, Con Edison or NY MTA responsible for Sandy? Why no 50' walls around the city? Or flood management systems? No company wants to spend for "over-engineering". Engineering about calculating it for what its called for. If it lasts longer, well that is a plus. Do the residents of river towns that flood get to sue the farmer whose runoff soil raises river beds (or that nature provides with natural erosion over time)? The more non-permeable surfaces we build, the more runoff and flood risks.

  36. Corporation are going to keep putting profits over lives until we start jailing white collar executives for killing people, the way we do blue collar thugs. TEPO, Purdue Pharma, Boeing ... judges all give them a free pass. Apparently incarceration is only appropriate for actresses cheating on college admissions, not corporate leaders killing people.

  37. Meanwhile back, the foreigner ex-CEO of an automaker company is held hostage by Japan's Justice system in severely punishing conditions with no bail, no proof, and no proven crime. I wonder.

  38. Society has a hard time making decisions when the likelihood of a total disaster seems small, but the magnitude of harm from that disaster, should it occur, is incredibly high. Often, when that is the case, spending the money to reduce the harm, should the disaster occur, seems like money wasted. And if the money is indeed spent to reduce the harm, it destroys the economic viability of the enterprise at issue. When these plants were first authorized, someone decided, on behalf of the Japanese public, that the risk was sufficiently small that the project should go forth anyway. And subsequently, these people were put in charge of running it. Do we indict airline managers who decide to add 737 Max airplanes to the fleets? No. Car dealership managers who sold cars with Takata air bags? No. Oil refinery managers for cranking out carbon laden fossil fuels? No. It was, or should have been, known from the outset that nuclear power was not 100.00000 percent safe. When the wrong number comes up, it is society's fault for taking the risk.

  39. @RM How about the death and destruction from government "wars"? Any counts on the deaths/harm related to oil and natural gas and coal? Life has risks. Learning from mistakes is how we progress. Lives are as good for the vast majority of humans than ever before.

  40. So, we burn more coal and oil to replace the clean energy.... Why blame people for an accident caused by a 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami. Is the government in prison for failing to adequately prepare for and regulate this? Nuclear power would be so much better today if market forces were allowed to operate.

  41. @David Nuclear is not necessarily "clean" energy. The advantage of nuclear is that you don't have gas that omits into the atmosphere with the process which has clear advantages over coal. However, radioactive byproduct / waste needs to be disposed of after fuel is used. We currently have repositories that we just bury the material in ground. The problem is we are suffering from "not in my lifetime" thinking. For 50 years we have been putting radioactive material in the ground, thinking nothing bad will happen. Probably like coal plants decades ago. Sure it may be hundreds of years until people say we have so much radioactive material buried everywhere a risk is starting to arise, but it doesn't mean nuclear energy is clean in a sense. Its very convenient for humans at this point in time. Kicking the can down the road until humans questions why the humans that lived today decided to make the nuclear decisions we made today.

  42. It only has cost about a billion dollars so far to clean up the Three Mile Island nuclear plant. Much more will soon be needed to decommission this plant. I wonder how many wind turbines and solar panels that would buy and how many existing dams could be retrofitted with the best power generators.

  43. @Griz Clearly you do not understand used fuel, radiation or exponential decay. After 10 years all of the highly radioactive elements "no longer exists." They have completely decayed. The only elements left which are somewhat radioactive are cesium and strontium with half-lifes less than 30 years. The elements with half-lifes higher than that are not dangerous. You would literally have to eat them to hurt you, and then it will only hurt you chemically(just like if you eat a bunch of lead or mercury). Used fuel(waste) is not a real problem. Used fuel(waste) has never harmed a single person in human history. It is not that dangerous(after it cools off you would have to literally eat it to harm you). There is not a lot of it(you could fit all of it in a single Walmart). It is solid and completely contained(meaning it can never leak). We can recycle it to produce 10000 years of electricity. The only problem we have is an uneducated public raised on decades of fossil fuel industry lies. If in a few hundreds years someone dig it up, eats it, and dies, it is their own fault. Do not eat the heavy metal rod.

  44. The verdict seems appropriate. Human judgements, guesses in many cases, turn out to be wrong. If one can be found guilty of a crime for an incorrect guess, then we are all in trouble. Would you like to be subject to criminal charges for an incorrect guess?

  45. @Rob-Chemist So on an incorrect guess I kill someone in cold blood ergo no criminal charges because it was an incorrect guess. And if preventative precautions are foregone because they cost money and people die because of it we'll just chalk that up to an incorrect guess right?

  46. @Anthony Williams How would killing someone in cold blood be construed as an "incorrect guess"? Just asking.

  47. "“It would be impossible to operate a nuclear plant if operators are obliged to predict every possibility about a tsunami and take necessary measures,” said the presiding judge, Kenichi Nagafuchi, according to Kyodo News." Yet another argument in support of a total moratorium on nuclear plant construction everywhere. It is impossible to stop leakage in cases of natural disaster, much less intentional or unintentional human actions. Generations to come (all species) will suffer from the leaking old sites and storage facilities, while struggling to clean up spills from inevitable future earthquakes, tsunamis and cyclones. Nuclear power is a deeply flawed source of energy, the sooner everyone realizes this the more certain our planet's future will be.

  48. @Thomas Williams Nuclear power is like commercial aviation. It's inherently unsafe and whenever there's an accident, it's spectacular. However, when you compare the health impacts and deaths with fossil fuels, nuclear power looks a whole lot safer than burning coal and natural gas. That's like commercial aviation. When a 777 crashes, a lot of people die and that's big news. But you're still more likely to be killed in a car wreck on the way to the airport than you are in plane crash.

  49. @Thomas Williams Every source of energy has drawbacks. The lack of radiation deaths from this nearly worst-case failure of foolishly situated multiple reactors is more evidence that nuclear is much safer than most alternatives. It would be safer yet in this country if anti-nuclear ideologues did not obsessively block every attempt to deep-bury reactor waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Nuclear power also has a nearly nonexistent carbon footprint. Those who are categorically against any form of it, including advanced passive-safety designs, are not truly serious about global warming.

  50. @Jeff this is a false equivalency - when a 777 crashes, the surrounding area isn't irreversibly contaminated and radioactive. Time and time again human beings prove that we are incapable of regulating for risk where short-term profit is concerned. It's bad enough when corruption results in deaths from faulty air planes, medicines, automobiles etc. but those deaths are at least contained to the incident and individual, not spanning generations of contamination of human, wildlife, plants, or the planet. Radiation from Fukishima was found as far away as Alaska - I live near(ish) Hanford Nuclear facility, and the never ending leaks and scandals from cover ups are quotidian news here. Human technology has not found a safe way to administer nuclear energy (and its waste) and human nature makes accidents & cover ups inevitable with consequences that are simply too profound and long lasting. Nuclear energy is not viable at this stage of our technological or moral evolution.

  51. There had been just previous to the Fukushima earthquake, a 9.1-3 earthquake and tsunami in the same volcanic chain of islands. How difficult would it have been to move the emergency generators to safe ground? This wasn't an accident that hadn't been thought of (like 3 mile island where operators did not believe their own gauges in an emergency), but an accident that was well within a planned response. The thinking must have been, "Well, it hasn't happened yet." Adding to this executives in Tokyo who took charge lacked the expertise to mitigate the disaster once it was underway. Not safe under any conditions.

  52. My wife and I arrived in Tokyo Narita airport an hour before the Great Tohuku Earthquake Magnitude 9.0 hit on March 11, 2011. We were still in the terminal when it struck. We hadn't cleared customs nor reclaimed our luggage. It was 6 minutes of frightening fear for our lives. Followed by three 7.0+ aftershocks. It took us five days to get back home. We had no idea how much danger we faced until we returned to America. TEPCO kept minimizing things. And the calm cool collected Japanese people were very apologetic, solicitous and welcoming of us Americans. I don't know Japanese law. But this is a travesty for humble humane empathy. They could and should have known better in terms of design and location.

  53. Gotta love the Monday morning quarter backing crowd. They'll always find a way to pin fault where it can't be pinned. It's obvious that any executive in any company doesn't have the technical where with all to plan for everything. Yet the bottom feeders, I mean lawyers, still try. I find it interesting that so much effort has been expended on trying to make TEPCO, PG&E, guilty of things that they have limited ability to control. Yet there's never a peep about governments that gladly hand out building development permits in areas that are obviously unsafe. Those entities never get hammered like the private sector.

  54. @Mark PG&E. You mean the California power company that admitted it had a corporate philosophy, when it came to maintaining its infrastructure (power lines) of "run to fail"? The power lines that their own employees had been telling PG&E management were about to fall over and start a wildfire - that did fall over and start a wildfire? The non-maintained power lines that started a wildfire that scorched whole towns and killed dozens of people? You mean THAT company that "had limited ability to control"?

  55. @Van Owen The same utility whose prices are completely controlled by the state which regularly insures that the company operates at a bare bones profit margin in the single digits. Therefore the same state who is responsible for monitoring what and how well they are maintaining things. The same state who is famous for dictating, as in ordering, rather than having meaningful discussions.

  56. So an old reactor of mediocre design, run by a corporation with a mediocre safety record, gets hit by 9.0 earthquake and then is inundated by a tsunami, and the worst that happens is... a lot of property damage, a big clean up bill, and no deaths. According to a 2017 Lancet study, there are 60,000 premature deaths in Japan from air pollution. After they shut down nuclear plants in 2011 and increased burning coal - how many increased deaths resulted? Which technology is safer for Japan based on evidence? According to the WHO, annual deaths from fossil fuel burning are 7 million per year. Apparently, we should give up nuclear power because it's too dangerous. If it could displace some of the fossil fuel burnt, thousands, perhaps millions of premature deaths from fossil fuel burning could be prevented. It will take decades to decarbonize, no matter how quickly wind and solar grow. Though cheaper to build initially, wind and solar get more and more expensive after it is providing 30% of energy, in order to build the excess capacity needed to ensure constant supply when large areas of a continent are neither windy nor sunny. The long term cheapest solution to achieve 90%+ decarbonization is a mix of nuclear and renewables. And only nuclear can provide the huge amounts of energy required to physically remove CO2 from the atmosphere, if we ever want to lower CO2.

  57. @Richard Fast fact - a coal plant generates about a hundred times more radioactive waste than a nuclear one.

  58. Deaths related to the earthquake and tsunami: 19,575. Deaths related to radiation released from the Fukushima nuclear power plants: 0. (Note: Studies by the World Health Organisation and Tokyo University have shown that no discernible increase in the rate of cancer deaths is expected so the long term death rate should remain at zero.) Given that this was the largest earthquake ever to hit Japan it's hard to argue that Tepco managers were negligent. Should they have anticipated an earthquake/tsunami twice as severe as the largest ever? 10 times? 100 times? Arguing that managers should have anticipated something which had never happened before is illogical. Perhaps those who want to convict Tepco managers should consider going after the government officials who built tsunami barriers that were woefully inadequate.

  59. @J. Waddell If, as you assert, the Tepco executives could not reasonably have anticipated the size of the tsunami that would result from a meltdown at their plant, how could you expect government officials to know, and build walls in proportion to that threat?

  60. @J. Waddell Yes, they should go after the government officials too! (Wow, what a thought: That big business and government should be held responsible for their actions or lack there of...)

  61. @J. Waddell No nuclear plants should be built in earthquake prone areas - Japan is a series of islands built by volcanoes over time because it is over 'hot spots' in the tectonic plates..The entire country can live on thermal energy..The nuclear plants were built over the protests of the locals, and only for profit..They are not needed, and are not wanted - now the rest of us are going to have to live with the increasing levels of cancer deaths worldwide as humanity through shortsightedness and need for filthy lucre is unable to live without killing off all around us.

  62. The Fukushima trial, taken in aggregate with other events (Brexit, the boundless ethical lapses that define the Trump administration), will help 2019 become the historical moment marking the death of accountability.

  63. It was their No. 1 job to prevent disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. But it seems there is no accountability for incompetence in the nuclear power industry.

  64. It is telling a piece like this shows up under “business” section.

  65. May you glow in peace.

  66. Money rules in Japan, governed by Abe, a lap dog of Trump.

  67. In the immortal words of Sargent Schulz. “I saw nothing.”

  68. I guess my only concern is that the Japanese government shows no sign of taking any responsibility for this disaster. They "hired" foreign nationals to clean up the mess: https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Vietnamese-man-surprised-to-be-driven-to-Fukushima-to-do-cleanup-work They "force" the export of potentially contaminated food to other regions: https://nuclear-news.net/2018/10/03/watch-out-japan-is-pushing-exports-of-its-radiation-contaminated-agricultural-products-to-other-countries-saying-there-is-no-radiation-anymore-in-fukushima/ They are dumping nuclear waste into the ocean: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/10/fukushima-japan-will-have-to-dump-radioactive-water-into-pacific-minister-says Their negligence caused the issue, yet they want the whole world to clean things up for them. Truly, very sad.

  69. "sincere apologies for the great inconvenience and concern that the Tepco Fukushima nuclear accident has caused on the people of Fukushima Prefecture and society as a whole.” - Japanese for 'thoughts and prayers'

  70. Is there no such thing as an accident anymore?

  71. How many death did the melt down cause ? None " Despite this, there were no deaths caused by acute radiation syndrome. Given the uncertain health effects of low-dose radiation, cancer deaths cannot be ruled out.[11] However, studies by the World Health Organisation and Tokyo University have shown that no discernible increase in the rate of cancer deaths is expected" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster_casualties As to holding executives responsible How many death did GM's ignition lock failure, known to GM for years ? "124 deaths.[3] The fault had been known to GM for at least a decade prior to the recall being declared" And yet no GM executive went to jail Americans need to start calling for justice in their country first https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_ignition_switch_recalls

  72. Nuclear energy is a dinosaur that bequeaths a legacy of poison and deadly pollution for generations to come. And now they want to dump the radiated water into the Pacific! God save us from ourselves!

  73. Of course. Japan is owned by the NDP and the Yakuza. Both are tied to Big Money.

  74. It was an earthquake and tsunami that disabled a 50 year old, first-generation power plant. How do you punish somebody for that?

  75. Whenever something bad happens there is no shortage of people with 20/20 hindsight looking to blame someone for letting it happen.

  76. Just who does Japan and its court think they are...the United States?

  77. It's Japan and it's corporations and big business... What did anyone expect?

  78. The headline states that Fukushima caused "widespread environmental damage". By far, its largest effect is that humans have evacuated a large swath of land around the reactor. Fukushima joins Chernobyl, the Korean DMZ, and the former inter-German border as a rare piece of land that people leave completely alone.

  79. Even a layperson could see the problem with putting a nuclear plant at that site. No different than PG&E putting its nuclear plant on a fault line running underneath. Then when the time comes justice will not be served just like the recent dead bodies piled up from PG&E's wildfires it caused and the CEO and executives laughing all the way to the bank.

  80. The Japanese Government's plan to get rid of contaminated water from the nuclear plant is to dump it into the ocean instead of deal with the problem. Sounds like a Trump administration plan.

  81. “”It would be impossible to operate a nuclear plant if operators are obliged to predict every possibility about a tsunami and take necessary measures,” said the presiding judge, Kenichi Nagafuchi, according to Kyodo News.” I could be wrong, but isn’t that the point of Risk Management?

  82. In reading some of these comments, it seems people think that nothing bad in the world can happen without an evil, deceitful participant. In order to do anything of worth, someone has to make decisions. Sometimes they’re wrong. Especially when it comes to natural phenomena.

  83. So let me get this straight: in Japan, one of the most massive earthquakes ever experienced by the country damaged a reactor, and despite the fact that it's literally not possible to build a reactor to withstand something like that, several high-level executives were charged with crimes. In the US, Purdue executives sell addictive, deadly drugs for years, lie about the effects and risks, pocket literally billions of dollars, and walk away without so much as slap on the wrist. CAPITALISM!

  84. I think the salient point is that they have lost most of the lawsuits against them..Japan is a country that does not need nuclear power in any way -they are like Greenland, they sit on a hot spot in the Pacific, and thermal energy could very easily meet all their needs except profit for profiteers.. The Japanese protesters did not want Nuclear Power and it was thrust upon them by corrupt governments, just like we have here in the USA.. I often encounter people in my travels who talk about how smart the Japanese are. But the exposure of the corruption of the nuclear power industry in Japan has totally eviscerated that image. Japanese has their dupes and capitalists just like we have our Mitch McConnells, Jim Jordans, Koch Bros, and Perdue Pharma..No the Japanese can no longer be seen as the smart country - they have been exposed as being just as capitalist as the rest of the world, and in need of the same huge correction course in the face of current emergencies..Even if their women are as 'thin as thread-paper', in the words of Gilbert and Sullivan..Thinness does not make for intelligence..

  85. Soooo NObody is responsible for the worst Nuclear disaster of this era? Great. Nice to see there's responsible accountability when it comes to Nuclear issues

  86. This entire country is on hot spots in the earths crust, and can exist completely on thermal energy, just like Iceland - they have no need for nuclear power, as the japanese protestors insisted..Nuclear power is only for profit, and the cost in the long run is to the entire earth..Now they are going to dump millions of gallons of heavy water into the ocean, as the human race continues to pollute the entire earth, to the best of it's ability..These men knew that they were building a nuclear plant in an earthquake zone, and I think the most salient point is they won this lawsuit, but they have lost all the others the Japanese people have brought against them..The use of nuclear power for Japan is/was incredibly irresponsible and unnecessary..