Owl says: think there is no chance of a tsunami on the Severn estuary? Think again:
“Three former executives from the operator of Japan’s tsunami-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant went on trial Friday, the only people ever to face a criminal court in connection with the 2011 meltdowns that left swathes of countryside uninhabitable.
Ex-Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, and former vice presidents Sakae Muto, 66, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71, all pleaded not guilty to charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury, more than six years after the worst atomic accident in a generation.
Katsumata told the Tokyo court it was impossible for him to have directly foreseen the risk of the towering waves that pummelled Japan’s northeast coast in March 2011.
“I apologise for the tremendous trouble to the residents in the area and around the country because of the serious accident that caused the release of radioactive materials,” Katsumata said in a barely audible voice, as he bowed.
But “I believe I don’t have a criminal responsibility in the case”.
The indictments are the first — and only — charges stemming from the tsunami-sparked reactor meltdowns at the plant that set off the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.
If convicted, the men face up to five years in prison or a penalty of up to one million yen ($9,000).
Prosecutors had twice refused to press charges against the men, citing insufficient evidence and little chance of conviction.
But a judicial review panel composed of ordinary citizens ruled in 2015 that the trio should be put on trial, which compelled prosecutors to press on with the case under Japanese law. …”