TEPCO aims to build more Fukushima-type nuclear reactors, vows to ‘excel in safety’ this time

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Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
1 Jul, 2018
TEPCO is conducting an independent geological survey to confirm the absence of active faults in Aomori Prefecture, where it wants to resume the construction of a Fukushima-type nuclear plant, frozen following the 2011 disaster.
“It’s necessary to form a consortium for building a nuclear plant that is excellent in safety, technology and economy,” TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa said in Tokyo, announcing the decision to conduct a survey of the Aomori Prefecture nuclear site.
The Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant hosts two adjoining sites administered by Tohoku Electric Power Company and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). While Tohoku Unit 1 began commercial operations in December 2005, TEPCO never got a chance to finish their unit, the construction of which began only in January 2011. All activity at the site has ceased since the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown.
TEPCO’s survey, scheduled for completion by 2020, will check the fault structure under the site using a two-kilometer-long tunnel, Kobayakawa said on Friday. Previous studies of terrain beneath the area by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) found the likely presence of multiple active, seismogenic faults. However, both TEPCO and the Tohoku Electric Power Company decided to conduct further ‘independent’ investigations to review the validity of the NRA findings.
The energy company wants to build two reactors at the site and is exploring ways to meet the stricter government regulations introduced following the Fukushima disaster. Higashidori units, however, would still use the same type of boiling-water, light-water reactors that suffered meltdown at the Fukushima plant, Japan Times noted.
“As we restart the (Higashidori) project, I want to make sure that a new plant would excel in safety,” Kobayakawa told a press conference. “The geological survey is a very significant step to move forward on the joint development of Higashidori,” he noted, adding that TEPCO has asked major utility companies in the country to contribute to the construction and operation of the Higashidori plant.
Three of the Fukushima plant’s six reactors were hit by meltdowns in 2011, after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the facility, resulting in the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

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TEPCO to decommission Fukushima Daini plant

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Tokyo Electric Power Company has revealed a plan to consider decommissioning all the reactors at its Fukushima Daini nuclear plant.
It is located about 12 kilometers south of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was critically damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. All 4 reactors at the Daini plant have been halted since the disaster.
TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa informed Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori of the plan at the prefectural government office on Thursday.
Kobayakawa noted that there have been negative rumors about Fukushima, and many evacuees are still unable to return home.
He told Uchibori his company has decided that keeping the Daini plant idle would hamper the reconstruction efforts in the prefecture.
The Fukushima prefectural assembly had adopted a petition to scrap the reactors at the Daini plant.
The municipal assemblies in Tomioka and Naraha, the towns that host the facility, have adopted a similar demand. The governor has repeatedly asked TEPCO and the central government in Tokyo to arrange the early decommissioning of the plant.
The utility, however, had refrained from saying clearly whether it would decommission the plant, citing the need to consider the government’s energy policies and the business environment.
TEPCO is now expected to scrap all 10 reactors in Fukushima Prefecture — 6 at the Daiichi plant and 4 at the Daini plant.

Japan’s Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center calls for TEPCO to be liquidated

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June 4, 2018
On April 5, 2018, the government’s Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center notified residents of Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture, and TEPCO of its decision to discontinue its efforts to achieve an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) on the residents’ demand for additional compensation for mental anguish caused by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.
  Around 15,700 residents of the town near TEPCO’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) launched this class action lawsuit, demanding that the utility’s monthly compensation payments to them be raised from the present 100,000 to 350,000 yen per person. The town government acted as the representative of the residents’ group in this case.
  Earlier, in March 2014, the center presented an ADR proposal that the compensation payments be increased by 50,000 yen per person (with increases of up to 80,000 yen for elderly people aged 75 or more) for a certain period of time. The Namie residents accepted the proposal, while the utility rejected it as many as six times, claiming that the increase would have too great an effect from the perspective of fairness with other evacuees. Confronted with this situation, the center has decided to discontinue its mediation efforts.
  Since the nuclear accident at FDNPS, TEPCO has repeatedly insisted that its original standpoint was to carry out the accident clean-up and settlement operations in Fukushima, and that the utility was officially allowed to survive to fulfill this responsibility. For the purpose of extending appropriate and speedy damage compensation, the utility declared that it had set three targets, (1) to provide compensation to every single sufferer, (2) to extend it expeditiously and with careful attention to the sufferers’ needs, and (3) to pay respect to out-of-court settlement proposals.
  The question now is, what has happened to the utility’s determination to fulfill this responsibility? How do they explain the gap between the three targets mentioned above and their refusal to accept the ADR proposal on the additional compensation for the Namie Town residents? TEPCO’s contradictory action is totally unacceptable.
  Coincidentally, the Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC) announced on the same day that TEPCO and Tohoku Electric Power Co. had complied with its request and agreed to jointly pay around 174 billion yen to JAPC.  JAPC claimed that this huge amount of money is necessary for improving its Tokai No.2 Power Station (T2PS) facilities to meet the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s (NRA) new safety requirements. This announcement was made at NRA’s 562nd meeting on nuclear power plant compatibility with the new requirements, held on April 5.
  According to the mutual contract, TEPCO is required to buy 80 percent of all electricity generated by T2PS, and Tohoku Electric Power, 20 percent. The two utilities are, therefore, extending financial support to JAPC in accordance with this ratio. The contract says, that when JAPC incurs massive debts that exceed its own capital, the two utilities will extend financial support to the company in the form of debt guarantees and other financial aid.
  JAPC, jointly established by Electric Power Development Co. (J-POWER) and electric power companies, is a firm specializing in nuclear power generation. Officials of TEPCO and Kansai Electric Power Co. have assumed the post of company president alternately. The incumbent JAPC president, Mamoru Muramatsu, was previously a TEPCO Managing Executive Officer.
  Of the four nuclear power reactors owned by JAPC, the Tokai Power Station, the first commercial nuclear power plant in Japan, and Unit 1 of the Tsuruga Power Station are in decommissioning phase, while the other two are planned to be reactivated. They are the T2PS and Unit 2 of the Tsuruga plant. Despite this plan, the restart of these two nuclear reactors appears to be extremely difficult. In the case of the Tsuruga plant, an NRA expert team has recently issued an assessment that an active fault lies under Unit 2 of the plant in Fukui Prefecture. To reactivate the T2PS, JAPC is required to win consent from six local communities located within a 30km radius of the plant.
  Although JAPC is unable to restart its nuclear reactors and is incapable of generating power, it is receiving from Tokyo, Kansai, Chubu, Hokuriku, and Tohoku Electric Power Companies a huge amount of money as “electricity sale proceeds” each year based on the mutual contract. In FY2016, JAPC received 106.5 billion yen in total from the five utilities, of which TEPCO paid 43 billion yen.
  The total amount received by JAPC from the five utilities during the six years after 2011 reached approximately 769.0 billion yen.
  The utilities are raising this enormous amount of money by padding consumers’ electricity bills. This extra payment by consumers is spent on JAPC’s idled nuclear power plants that have no prospect of reactivation. Without this revenue, it is obvious that JAPC would have already become bankrupt. Meanwhile, the amount of additional compensation proposed in the ADR plan and refused by TEPCO totaled around 9.5 billion yen annually.
  The government has allocated 13.5-trillion yen in government bonds for compensation to be paid by TEPCO, and it has already decided to convert more than 10 trillion yen of the bonds into Japanese currency. Furthermore, there is a strong possibility that the government’s financial assistance needed by TEPCO may eventually exceed this projected level. The government’s Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation currently owns 54.69% of all shares in TEPCO, and depending on the situation regarding conversion of its preferred stock into common stock, its ownership may expand to 75% in the future. Without such generous financial support from the state, it is certain that the utility would have gone under a long while ago. TEPCO was officially allowed to survive because it has a duty to pay compensation to the Fukushima nuclear accident sufferers and to achieve decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. This failed company, however, is abdicating this responsibility and is financially supporting another virtually-insolvent company. This is an extremely unusual and unreasonable situation.
  On April 10, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko, reportedly expressed his approval of TEPCO’s financial support to JAPC, saying that this matter should be determined by the utility itself in accordance with its business management responsibility. This remark is also incomprehensible. At present, Keita Nishiyama, former Deputy Director-General for Economic and Social Policy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), assumes the post of a TEPCO Director, and Ryuichi Yamashita,  former Director-General of the Natural Resources and Fuel Department in the METI’s Natural Resources and Energy Agency, is a TEPCO executive officer. In other words, it was METI, which holds more than 50% of TEPCO shares and dispatches its officials to the utility, that made this business decision.
  However, it is impermissible for the government, which is spending such an enormous amount of taxpayers’ money on TEPCO, to allow the utility to give financial support to another collapsed company. In the first place, the government should never have tolerated the utility’s payment of as much as 270.8 billion yen to JAPC as money to purchase electricity over the past six years.
  If the state is rich enough to permit TEPCO to spend massive funds for unnecessary purposes, it should force the utility to take responsibility for causing the Fukushima nuclear accident and reduce the financial burden borne by the Japanese public.
  There is no need for TEPCO to survive any longer, because it has abdicated its responsibility for the nuclear accident and continues to support a virtually failed company.
  The utility should go bankrupt and be liquidated.
* TEPCO’s annual electricity sales for 2016 totaled 241.5 billion kWh, which means each household is paying 789 yen to the utility annually. (The average electricity consumption per household in 2016 was 4,432kWh.)

Why wasn’t TEPCO bankrupted? – Japan’s Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center

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June 4, 2018
The nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO’s) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) has left TEPCO under a huge pile of debt. At the time, there were arguments in favor of dissolving TEPCO, the liable party, but due to the Japanese government’s generous support, the company continues to exist to this day. In this article, we attempt to throw light on the reasons why TEPCO was not bankrupted.
Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damage
Japan’s Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damage states in Section 3, “Where nuclear damage is caused as a result of reactor operation etc. during such operation, the nuclear operator who is engaged in the reactor operation etc. on this occasion shall be liable for the damage, except in the case where the damage is caused by a grave natural disaster of an exceptional character or by an insurrection.” In Section 4, the Act stipulates that “Where nuclear damage is covered by the preceding section, no person other than the nuclear operator who is liable for the damage pursuant to the preceding section shall be liable for the damage.” Thus while imposing on the nuclear power operator unlimited no-fault liability with liability concentrated in its hands, it also provides exemptions in the form of “a grave natural disaster of an exceptional character or by an insurrection.” At the same time, Section 16 provides for necessary government assistance to pay compensation, and Section 17 states that in the case of “a grave natural disaster of an exceptional character or by an insurrection” the government “shall take necessary measures to relieve victims and to prevent the damage from spreading.”
  What became a problem at the time of the FNDPS accident was whether or not it had occurred due to a grave natural disaster of an exceptional character. From the outset, the government indicated the stance of not applying the exemption, stating, “As the nuclear power operator, TEPCO should bear liability for damage caused by this nuclear power plant accident.” TEPCO insisted that the accident was due to “a grave natural disaster of an exceptional character” and that “there is a margin for judging that an exemption be invoked,” but eventually accepted liability.
 
Financing immediately after the accident
Since the exemption was not invoked, TEPCO faced unlimited compensation for the damage caused by the FNDPS accident. In 2011, the government estimated that compensation alone would be of the order of 4.5 trillion yen.
  TEPCO’s cash and deposits as the accounts were closed at the end of the third quarter of 2010 (December 31, 2010) were 366.5 billion yen. With company bond redemptions of 500 billion yen coming up in FY2011 and the need to procure fuel worth 800 billion yen, financing from the market was fraught with difficulties after the FNDPS nuclear accident, bringing TEPCO close to bankruptcy.
  TEPCO’s cash and deposits leaped up to 2.2 trillion yen at the close of accounts for FY2010 (March 31, 2011). This was almost all in long-term loans. According to news reports at the time, 1.865 trillion yen was provided in loans of three to ten years, with no warranty and at the same interest as before the accident, by eight financial institutions, including the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (600 billion yen), the Mizuho Corporate Bank (500 billion yen) and the Mitsubishi UFJ Bank (300 billion yen). It is said that in the background to this was the statement by the then deputy minister of the Ministry for the Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Kazuo Matsunaga, that “We must also not shirk  responsibility. I would also like to see support from financial institutions.”
  TEPCO thus managed to overcome the problems of March 2011, but even after that, arguments insisting that TEPCO be declared bankrupt and go into legal liquidation continued. However, in the end, it was decided to allow the company to survive from the viewpoint that if TEPCO went into legal liquidation compensation to those affected by the nuclear accident would be delayed.
  Especially problematical were the electric power bonds issued by TEPCO. The Electricity Business Act allows TEPCO and the other power business operators to issue company bonds with “general collateral” that make it possible to prioritize debt repayment to other creditors. In other words, if a company goes bankrupt, those financial institutions that originally stood to make profits from the purchase of the company bonds would receive first priority in debt repayment, whereas compensation for those affected by the nuclear accident would be on the same pecking order as repayment for other debts (e.g. loans, etc.).
  TEPCO’s net assets as of March 31, 2011 were 1.6024 trillion yen. It was clear that the estimate for compensation at the time of 4.5 trillion yen would put TEPCO in a situation of net capital deficiency. The balance of company debt at this time was 4.4251 trillion yen. If TEPCO were to be declared bankrupt at that time, the company debt would first have to be repaid, after which other debts, including the liabilities to those affected by the nuclear accident, would be paid out.
  There was also the option of allowing TEPCO to go bankrupt, and having discharged the debts the government would, in a separate deal, then pay out compensation from the national treasury to those affected by the nuclear accident. However, since the accident was still ongoing, liquidating TEPCO might pose obstacles to the work of the post-accident clean-up. Considering this, it is not unreasonable that the government at the time decided to allow TEPCO to continue to exist. However, by allowing TEPCO to survive, the stockholders who had invested in TEPCO and the financial institutions that had provided funds, i.e. the investors who bore a certain risk for the sake of profits, suffered no losses, and in their place the greater population of Japan overall would take on the burden. That was how the current TEPCO survival scheme was born.
 
The TEPCO survival scheme
In August 2011, the government enacted the Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Corporation Act to avoid a TEPCO bankruptcy. The scheme inherent in the act is as follows:
1) The government shall establish the Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Corporation (later reorganized as the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation in August 2014) as the facilitating organization handling compensation payments and so on in the case of nuclear damage, and nuclear power operators are to establish a reserve fund (general contributions) to provide compensation.
2) The Corporation shall levy a special contribution from the nuclear operator that caused the accident (in this case TEPCO).
3) The Corporation shall provide financial facilitation (granting of funds, acceptance of stocks, loans, purchase of company bonds, etc.) when the Corporation’s facilitation is required for compensation by the nuclear operator. To procure the funds necessary for financial facilitation, the Corporation can issue government-guaranteed compensation bonds to borrow money from financial institutions.
4) In the case that special support is required from the government, the Corporation and the nuclear operator shall determine the amount of compensation, prepare a “special business plan” that sets out the content and value of the financial support, policies for business management rationalization and so on, and receive approval from the relevant ministers (the Cabinet Office and METI). Following approval, the government will allocate government bonds to the Corporation, the necessary funds then being granted to the nuclear operator by the Corporation.
5) The Corporation shall pay into the national treasury money up to the amount of redemption of the government bonds.
  Based on this scheme, TEPCO and the Corporation devised a Special Emergency Business Plan in November 2011, following up with a Comprehensive Special Business Plan in May 2012, a New Comprehensive Special Business Plan in January 2014 and a New-New Comprehensive Special Business Plan in May 2017. On the basis of these business plans, the government established a government bond allocation limit of 13.5 trillion yen (including decontamination and mid-term storage of radioactive wastes, etc. as well as compensation) for the Corporation and it was decided to provide a grant of 10.2006 trillion yen to TEPCO. In addition to this, the Corporation accepted one trillion yen in TEPCO stocks in July 2012 (making the Corporation the holder of 54% of TEPCO stocks, which would increase to 80% if class B priority stocks were converted to class A stocks). Furthermore, besides the above, TEPCO also estimates that that 8 trillion yen will be needed for decommissioning and as countermeasures for contaminated water. As a result, the costs involved in dealing with the FNDPS nuclear accident are therefore currently estimated to be 21.5 trillion yen.
  Of this, it is presumed that the 4 trillion yen estimated for decontamination costs will be eventually supplemented by profits accruing from the sale of TEPCO stocks, the 1.6 trillion yen costs for intermediate storage facilities will be paid from the national treasury, and that 3.7 trillion yen of the total compensations will be paid by nuclear power operators from the general contributions, while 0.24 trillion yen will be borne by imposing a power distribution consignment charge on power companies that have entered the market recently due to deregulation of the power market.
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<Hajime Matsukubo, CNIC>

Niigata’s Prefecture Governor Resignation to Affect the Approval of Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Plant Restart…

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Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama bows during a press conference at the Niigata Prefectural Government office on April 18, 2018.
Governor quits over sex scandal, affects nuclear reactor restart
April 18, 2018
NIIGATA (Kyodo) — Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama said Wednesday he will resign after admitting to a sex scandal in a move affecting the approval process for the restart of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s nuclear reactors in the central Japan prefecture.
“I sincerely offer apologies for betraying the trust of many people,” Yoneyama told a press conference, admitting that his relationship with a woman, as described in a weekly magazine due out Thursday, may “look to some as prostitution.”
Shukan Bunshun magazine alleged in an online teaser article Wednesday that the 50-year-old governor has been paying money to have sex with a 22-year-old college student. At a news conference Wednesday, the governor said he gave a woman he met online “presents and money so she would like me more.”
Since being elected governor in 2016, Yoneyama has refrained from approving the restart of the No. 6 and 7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear complex.
The governor has said he cannot make the decision until the prefectural government completes its own assessment of what caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.
All seven Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units are boiling water reactors, the same as those at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant where three of six reactors melted down in the days after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Last December, two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex cleared safety reviews under the stricter, post-Fukushima regulations.
On Tuesday, Yoneyama said he would consider whether to quit over a forthcoming magazine article about a “woman issue.” Calls for his resignation were growing in the Niigata prefectural assembly.
The gubernatorial election to pick Yoneyama’s successor is expected to be held in early June. Yoneyama will resign with two and a half years of his term remaining.
The seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex is one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants with a combined output capacity of 8.2 million kilowatts.
Facing huge compensation payments and other costs stemming from the Fukushima disaster, Tepco is keen to resume operation of its reactors to improve its financial performance.
The Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also supports restarting nuclear reactors that have cleared post-Fukushima safety reviews.
Yoneyama won the Niigata governorship in October 2016 with the support of the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, which are both opposed to nuclear power. He defeated contenders including a candidate backed by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito.
 
Governor of Japan’s Niigata resigns to avoid ‘turmoil’ over magazine article
April 18, 2018
TOKYO (Reuters) – The governor of Japan’s Niigata prefecture, home to the world’s largest nuclear power plant, resigned on Wednesday, saying he hoped to avoid political turmoil over an impending magazine article about his relations with women.
News that the governor, Ryuichi Yoneyama, intended to resign sent shares of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (Tepco) surging as investors bet his departure could make it easier for the utility to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, which is in Niigata prefecture.
Japan has had few reported “#MeToo” cases about sexual harassment involving public figures but Yoneyama’s resignation came on the same day Japan’s top finance bureaucrat resigned on after a magazine said he had sexually harassed several female reporters. The official denied the allegation.
Yoneyama, like his predecessor, is opposed to a restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant and has been a block to attempts to get the station going by the utility, which also owns the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station.

A Representative of Plaintiffs, Tokuo HayaKawa’s Statement in The Court

tokuo-hayakawa.jpgTokuo Hayakawa at the rally in Tokyo in January, 2018.

 

JIJI PRESS’s article

TEPCO Ordered to Pay 600 M. Yen to Fukushima Evacuees

The statement below is translated by Yoshihiro Kaneda. If it has mistakes, Yoshihiro Kaneda has responsibility for that.

Statement

2017 October 6th

To  The Iwaki branch of the Fukushima District Court

Plaintiff: Tokuo Hayakawa

1 I am the thirtieth chief priest of a mountain temple which has a history of over 600 years, but the temple will pass into nothingness in my lifetime. Ten parishioners already severed our relationship. I became a chief priest in 1977 and the temple was desolated even 30 years after the end of the World War 2 because we had about 100 parishioners.

I planed reviving original religious activities and events and improvement for the environment of the temple and was satisfied with its achievement that I did most of it for three decades and several years until March 11th. Especially, the improvement of the precincts, I exerted myself and I overlapped it with my thought which I wanted to live my late life with enjoying the beauty of nature. After retirement, I was comfortable and enjoyed the nature.

I was deprived of this achievement, satisfaction and enjoyment. I was deprived of happiness which I could earn by living for it. I lost my spiritual support to live the rest of my life. What was my life?

 

2 I am living this way now, but there were evacuees abandoned themselves to grief and then, they comitted suicide.

I heard about a married couple who lost their jobs due to the nuclear accident and heaved sighs repeatedly in Aizuwakamatsu. They strangled their disabled son and they hanged themselves along at the railroad of the Tadami Line.

There was a man,102 years old, who said “Do I have to move from here? I want to live here. I have lived too long.” The man had a rope around his neck and hanged himself.

A cattle farmer who was a 54-year-old man committed suicide, left a message on the wall of the cattle shed in Souma “if there was no nuclear power plant.”

The nuclear accident took a job from a person who was a hundred kilometers away and took an old man’s home, who has lived a hundred-year life and forced a man to kill himself, who had no idea how to pay back his debt because he could not earn money due to a ban on the shipment of milk.

 

There are many other people who committed suicide.

Our defense counsel won two epochal decisions by suing for the people who killed themselves at the Fukushima District Court.

The appeal of the man whose wife burnt herself to death was admitted. After the ruling, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) officials came to his house to apologize but they lost words because the husband rejected point-blank and said “But my wife will never return,” on the scene.

 The wife lost her husband by suicide. Her appeal was admitted and officials of TEPCO went to her home to apologize. But she said “I don’t accept,” and the officials were amazed and silent.

One of the plaintiff’s statements stated that he barely stopped his suicide. I listened to all of the statements by the plaintiffs. While listening to each statement, I always presumed regrets of those who committed suicide.

 

3  The nuclear accident deprived all of regions and societies we lived, people’s lives and existences. We cannot ever fully recover from this problem again. We lost the places where we were born. The judges witnessed this themselves.

“If only there was no nuclear power plant,” “If only the nuclear accident did not happen.” Those words cannot pierce the heart of the officials of TEPCO. That is the true nature of TEPCO that has not changed after the accident. If they were human, these words would reach them.

Did our statements touch TEPCO? Or their hearts? I will continue to appeal until our victims’ lodgment reach the hearts of TEPCO officials. That is our regretful thought.

 

4  Through the trial, it became clear that the bottom cause of the accident was a top priority of profit seeking.

However, TEPCO does not admit their responsibility of the accident and, regarding our compensation, they said: “Go to law.” Can we forgive this injustice?

Originally, why did TEPCO build a nuclear plant in Fukushima? Can they explain? They cannot.

We are not only ones who are victims and evacuees by the nuclear accident and our regions are not the only victimized regions. Victims are struggling at the various regions and the evacuation areas. Among them, our plaintiffs are only forced evacuees and what rules the trial is the local Iwaki branch which is nearest court from the nuclear power plant which caused the accident. Those who will rule are the judges who live in Iwaki and have chances to meet the evacuees. We were facing the trial with feeling the significance of that. Our lawyers were aware of this profoundly.

 

5  “Due to the geographical and social conditions, a location of a nuclear power plant must be the place which does not have a big city in its neighboring region and the place which is sparsely populated.” (The Development Vision of the Futatba Atomic Energy District) “We confirmed that both towns of Okuma and Futaba were the best place to build the nuclear power plant. In the background that the confirmation went along well, there were facts such as that EPCO manipulated carefully after asking to build the nuclear power plant. (Coexistence and Co-evolution-With the Region-The Course of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant 45 years, A History of the first thirty years of Tokyo Electric Power Company)

These are the reason and the circumstance but “why must the location of the nuclear power plant be the place which is sparsely populated?” “why do they manipulate carefully?”

These questions suggest that TEPCO expects a danger and severe accident. If they explained the danger and severe accident to residents, there would be no sacrifices and victims who said if only there was no nuclear power plant.

 

6  TEPCO had various big and small accidents one after the other immediately after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant started business operation and they hid the accident which might become a huge accident. Whenever the accident happened, they were designated their slow report and, furthermore, they falsified and fabricated the data and so on. That situation became normal and worsen. It was no wonder that a huge accident could happen at anytime without the earthquake and tsunami. That situation lasted 40 years. That was the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

On the other hand, TEPCO circulated an enormous quantity of various handouts and brochures, providing “safety myth” as the measure to local residents. Among those, there was a brochure, titled Calm and Lively Way. Support for Futaba Vigor Life! Futaba with ties: In order to tie strongly between the power plant and residents of Futaba County forever.

They ignored the safety measure we asked whenever strange things happened to the nuclear power plant. In the same breath, they distributed the handouts like that.

 

7  In 1972, the Association of Naraha Town Residents was formed with the resolution: “We protect beautiful natural mountains and rivers and peaceful lives of townspeople and lives of us and our posterity.” In 1973, the same associations were formed in Tomioka and Okuma. On September in the same year the prefecture association was formed with the agreement: “We are against nuclear and thermal power plants because we cannot obtain the confirmation of safety and those plants are not true regional development and those are against people’s will.” So we, both town and prefecture people were appealing its risk.

One year after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the organizations of anti-nuclear residents all over Japan took a leading part and they formed “The Nuclear Power Plant Problem Residential Movement National Contact Center.” Since then, in order to establish measures for safety and emergency, we proposed and negotiated with the government and each electric power company every year.

We continued to warn them with publishing a pamphlet titled “Next Huge Accident Will Be in Japan” in 1992.

 

8  On February, 2005, TEPCO admitted the nuclear power plants in Fukushima could not be withstood by a tsunami in the Chilean Tsunami class becuase we had accused them. But they neglected one and all of our frequented drastic measure claims. Then, the huge accident happened. The Fukushima nuclear accident was an accident that was waiting to happen. Can we deny it?

 

9  According to “The Result of the Root Cause Analysis” in Summary of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident and Nuclear Safety Reform Plan, published after the accident, on March 3, 2013, by TEPCO, TEPCO says “the fact of admitting a need of tsunami protection measures leads that the power plant at that time is not safe. As a result, we were convinced that we would be required nimious measures by Nuclear Regulatory Commission and local residents.”

These things like this are TEPCO’s 40 years history. In consequence, what a huge damage we got! This is our one word “if only there was no nuclear accident.”

 

10  On August 5th, 2015, Naomi Hirose, CEO of TEPCO was asked the question “Do you acknowledge that the accident was a man-made disaster as a perpetrator?” He answered firmly  “Honestly, I have never thought seriously whether the accident was a man-made disaster or natural disaster until now.” On December 8th, 2016, Yoshiyuki Ishizaki, the president of TEPCO Fukushima Revital Headquarter, said to one victim “the nuclear power plant is  a necessary evil.” They made incautious remarks that they have not understood the calamity of victims and the stricken area at all four and five years after the accident.

 

11  We dare to bring a case before the Iwaki branch which is the closest local court from the location of the stricken area and the nuclear power plant. It is because we assure only this local court can understand suffering of victims and also they can hand down the decision which will take the part of the victims.

If this local court will hand down a decision which overlooks our actual conditions of damage and the situations of the hometown, we, victims, will not be relieved. All the more, please, the court, according to the facts and truth, hand down a decision for which we are able to hold a hope to live. We and many victims are suffering the damage that “it is impossible to verbalize.”

The Mainichi’s article is below.
Another court orders TEPCO to pay damages to Fukushima evacuees

http://www.absurdity.asia/2018/03/22/a-representative-of-plaintiffs-tokuo-hayakawas-statement-in-the-court/

Americans seek $1 bil. in damages over Fukushima nuclear disaster

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A U.S. Marine assists Japanese Self-Defense Force members in removing debris from the grounds of Minato Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, in this file photo taken on April 1, 2011.
 
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Some 200 U.S. residents filed a suit against Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and a U.S. firm seeking at least $1 billion to cover medical expenses related to radiation exposure suffered during the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the utility said Monday.
 
The lawsuit was filed last Wednesday with U.S. federal courts in the Southern District of California and the District of Columbia by participants in the U.S. forces’ Operation Tomodachi relief effort carried out in the wake of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that crippled TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
 
Many of the plaintiffs are suing TEPCO and the U.S. company, whose name was withheld by TEPCO, for the second time after a similar suit was rejected by the federal court in California in January.
 
They are seeking the establishment of a compensation fund of at least $1 billion to cover medical and other costs, the utility said.
 
The plaintiffs claim that the nuclear accident occurred due to improper design and management of the plant by TEPCO. They are also seeking compensation for physical and psychological damage suffered as a result of the disaster, said the utility.
In Operation Tomodachi, which began two days after the natural disasters, the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan and other U.S. military resources and personnel were deployed to deliver supplies and undertake relief efforts at the same time as three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi complex suffered fuel meltdowns.