Tags: fukushima | nuclear | power plant | earthquake | apology | coverup

Fukushima Nuclear Company Apologizes for 'Meltdown' Coverup After Quake

Image: Fukushima Nuclear Company Apologizes for 'Meltdown' Coverup After Quake
In this Sept. 14, 2012 file photo, Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose listens to a reporter's question during a news conference in Tokyo. The utility that ran the Fukushima nuclear plant acknowledged Tuesday, June 21, 2016, its delayed disclosure of the meltdowns at three reactors was tantamount to a cover-up and apologized for it. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Jun 2016 10:19 AM

The Fukushima nuclear plant's parent company said Tuesday that people had the right to believe it tried to "cover up" the 2011 core meltdown because it declined to use the term for two months following the incident.

According to The Japan Times, Naomi Hirose, president of Tokyo Electric Power, who was not head of the company in March 2011 during the meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, said in an apology that his predecessor made a mistake in not describing the crisis truthfully.

Last Thursday, a published report revealed that former company president Masataka Shimizu ordered a vice president to say at a news conference just three days after the incident that Fukushima suffered "core damage" instead of a "core meltdown."

"It is extremely regrettable," Hirose said at a Tokyo news conference on Tuesday. "People are justified in thinking it as a cover up [sic]."

Northeastern Japan was struck by a magnitude-9 earthquake in 2011, leading to a devastating tsunami on the island nation, according to Live Science. The tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant, leading to a level-7 nuclear meltdown.

Damage from the earthquake and tsunami cost Japan an estimated $300 billion.

The third-party commission set up to investigate Tokyo Electric Power's handling of the crisis said in its report that Shimizu could have issued the instructions because of pressure from then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan's office.

The commission added in the report that it had not interviewed Kan, his cabinet chief secretary Yukio Edano, or explained how that pressure would have been exerted, reported The Japan Times.

Live Science reported last year that many of Japan's nuclear reactors remain closed after the government issued stricter safety standards. 230,000 people remain living in temporary homes after losing their residence in the earthquake and tsunami.

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The Fukushima nuclear plant's parent company said Tuesday that people had the right to believe it tried to "cover up" the 2011 core meltdown because it declined to use the term for two months following the incident.
fukushima, nuclear, power plant, earthquake, apology, coverup
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2016-19-22
Wednesday, 22 Jun 2016 10:19 AM
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