3 former utility executives charged in Fukushima disaster

TOKYO -- Three former Japanese utility executives have been formally charged for alleged negligence in the Fukushima nuclear disaster, becoming the first ones from the company to go to criminal court.

See Full Article

National broadcaster NHK reported that a group of court-appointed lawyers on Monday indicted Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tokyo Electric power Co. at the time of the crisis, along with two other TEPCO executives. The three men, charged with professional negligence, were not arrested.

The indictment follows a decision by an 11-member judicial committee in July to send the three men to criminal court after prosecutors had dropped the case.

Experts say it may be difficult to prove criminal responsibility for failing to prevent the Fukushima meltdowns, but many people including the residents affected by the disaster say they hope that any trial would reveal more facts about the disaster and TEPCO's role that the utility has not disclosed.

The committee said in July that the three men neglected to take sufficient measures even though they were aware of the risk of a tsunami at the Fukushima plant. It said they should be charged with professional negligence resulting in death and injury during the accident and its aftermath, including the deaths of dozens of senior citizens in a hospital who died during and after the lengthy evacuation.

The Tokyo District Court has since selected a team of five lawyers to act as prosecutors to formally press charges in court.

Three reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami suffered meltdowns, triggering massive radiation leaks that forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate.

Government and parliamentary investigative reports have said TEPCO's lack of a safety culture and weak risk management, including an underestimate of tsunami threats, led to the disaster. They said TEPCO ignored tsunami safety measures amid collusion with then-regulators and lax oversight.

TEPCO has said it could have been more proactive on safety measures, but that a tsunami of the magnitude that crippled the plant could not be anticipated.

While struggling with a cleanup at the wrecked Fukushima plant that will take decades, TEPCO is hoping to restart two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in northern Japan.

The disaster resulted in Japan taking all of its nuclear power reactors offline for checks. Of the 43 workable reactors in Japan, three have been put back online since last year, while the remaining are still offline for repairs or safety checks.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Israeli leader to Iran: "We are your friend, not your enemy"

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Israel's leader has recorded a conciliatory message to the people of Iran, saying, "we are your friend, not your enemy." In the video uploaded to his Facebook page Saturday, Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the people of Iran in English, with Farsi subtitles. Source
  • George H.W. Bush, wife Barbara, recovering from illnesses

    World News CTV News
    Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, arrive for the premiere of HBO's new documentary about his life in Kennebunkport, Maine, June 12, 2012. (AP / Charles Krupa, File) Source
  • Toronto man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police are asking the public for help in locating a man wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. Police said in a news release Friday that Lingathasan Suntharamoorthy, 36, is wanted for being unlawfully at large after leaving a Toronto courthouse in the city’s east end. Source
  • Women's marches attract masses across the globe

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- Legions of women flooded parks, streets and city squares from Sydney to Paris to Philadelphia on Saturday, marching in solidarity as a show of empowerment and a stand against Donald Trump. More than 600 "sister marches" were planned across the country and abroad in conjunction with the Women's March on Washington, which drew hundreds of thousands to the nation's capital a day after Trump became president of the United States. Source
  • Ex-Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson denies political aspirations

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO - “They’re wrong, I’m not running.” Entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson has denied a report that a run at federal Liberal politics might be in her future. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Source
  • Trump opens first full day on job at church

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump opened his first full day as president Saturday at a national prayer service, the final piece of transition business for the nation’s new chief executive before a promised full-on shift into governing. Source
  • ’Sisters of the north’ join Women’s March on Washington

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Hundreds of Canadian women, many of them wearing pink knit hats or carrying signs emblazoned with the maple leaf and the slogan “sisters of the north”, filled the sidewalks of Washington, D.C. Saturday morning as they made their way to a massive rally for women’s rights. Source
  • Life and crimes of Little Nicky

    World News Toronto Sun
    On a warm spring day long ago, I was sent to Philadelphia on assignment. My subject was crooner Al Martino — better known today as the man who played Johnny Fontane in the iconic Godfather saga. Martino picked me up from the 30th Street train station in his Cadillac and told me his own sordid, Mafia-tinged tale. Source
  • Bogus bongs harshing pipe maker's buzz

    World News Toronto Sun
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — In the rarefied world of high-end bong makers, Roor glass water pipes have long been smoked to impress. The status symbols are so sought after that some models command prices of $1,000. There’s even a diamond-studded, gold-gilded Roor that goes for nearly $4,000. Source
  • Scuba diver mauled by shark, takes boat to get patched up

    World News Toronto Sun
    CANBERRA, Australia — A scuba diver mauled by a shark in the Torres Strait on Saturday was transported four hours by boat to an island off the Australian coast for medical treatment, an official said. “His condition is fairly stable. Source