March 31, 2017

Court holds TEPCO liable for Fukushima disaster

In the court ruling, the judges found that science-based evidence of major risks to the nuclear plant was "foreseen" but ignored and not acted upon by Japan's government and TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company).

Writing inside Ukedo elementary school near Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, March 1, 2017.

Judges in the Maebashi District Court in Gunma prefecture ruled that TEPCO and the government were aware of the earthquake and tsunami risks to the Fukushima Daiichi plant prior to the 2011 triple reactor meltdown, but failed to take preventative measures.
The company announced a plan to restructure their business to respond to the court ruling and the industry ministry's doubling of its estimated total cost for the nuclear disaster cleanup to ¥22 trillion ($197 billion).
Is this a warning that fossil fuel companies and governments may also be held liable for ignoring science based evidence of major risks and failing to take preventative action?

It certainly is a sobering warning that when companies go bankrupt as a result of ignoring science, that ordinary citizens and taxpayers are the ones who are left paying the price. 

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