21 Juin 2012
FUKUSHIMA -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s final report on the Fukushima nuclear disaster has triggered a major backlash from prefectural residents and authorities who call it weak and even laced with falsehoods, it has been learned.
In the 352-page report, released on June 20 after a year-long internal investigation, TEPCO admits that the firm's tsunami policy had been insufficient. However, the utility justifies its unpreparedness by saying that the March 11, 2011 quake-triggered tsunami was "beyond expectations," and that the central government's "interference" obstructed its subsequent nuclear disaster management.
"TEPCO should have asked itself why it didn't have a sufficient tsunami policy and whether they had an opportunity to set one up," said Yoshihiro Koyama, head of Fukushima Prefecture's nuclear safety measures division. "We still don't know what happened in the cores of the No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors, among other unclear information. TEPCO should continue to try and explain all facts related to the crisis, and the government's disaster committee should do a deep investigation of the accident."
Meanwhile, Mayor Tamotsu Baba of the village of Namie points out a significant fabrication of data in TEPCO's report. While the document states that "TEPCO employees visited the village of Namie from March 13, 2011" to inform city authorities of details regarding the crisis, Baba says that they heard from TEPCO officials for the first time only in late March.
"This report is not just sloppy in content -- it includes falsified information," said Baba, who is expected to seek charges against the former TEPCO president and other officials for violating a liaison pact by not reporting to the Namie Municipal Government immediately after the outbreak of the disaster.
A 71-year-old resident who evacuated from Tomioka -- inside the evacuation zone around the plant -- and now lives at a temporary housing complex in the prefectural city of Koriyama, also criticized the report, saying that it is likely TEPCO may still be hiding information from residents.
"Despite being a final report, I feel somewhat that TEPCO is still hiding many things. It's crystal clear that the company tries to play innocent and escape responsibility," the man said.