Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Over 1,300 Fukushima residents file complaint with prosecutors over nuclear crisis

A group of 1,324 Fukushima residents presented a complaint to public prosecutors on June 11 over radiation damage from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, accusing 33 people including Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata of professional negligence resulting in injury and other charges.

It is the first major complaint submitted to public prosecutors over damage from TEPCO's crisis-hit nuclear plant, which was crippled by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Citizens groups have filed similar complaints, but since no cases have yet been formed, prefectural residents decided to seek punishment themselves. They have also filed a complaint alleging professional negligence resulting in death and injury in connection with suicides and hospital patient deaths during evacuation. Public prosecutors will carefully investigate the complaints and then decide on a course of action.

Altogether, 15 TEPCO executives including Katsumata and Masataka Shimizu, who was president of TEPCO when the nuclear disaster broke out, are named in the complaint. Another 15 people, including Haruki Madarame, head of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, and Nobuaki Terasaka, head of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, are from government organizations. The remaining three, who include Fukushima Medical University vice president Shunichi Yamashita, a radiation health risk advisor after the outbreak of the nuclear disaster, are specialists. Read More