TEPCO accused of obstruction of Diet investigation into Fukushima Daiichi disaster

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Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1

Mitsuhiko Tanaka, a member of the former Diet Panel which was commissioned to investigate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, said that TEPCO had intentionally misinformed the Panel in order to limit the scope and ability of the investigation.

Tanaka claims in the document that Tokyo Electric Power Company wouldn’t let the panel access the Unit 1 reactor building, which was destroyed by an explosion during the first week of the disaster, and that TEPCO officials told the panel last February that the inside of the reactor building was pitch-black due to the cover placed over the reactor building.

TEPCO officials attempted to further push this story by showing the panel a video of the interior of the reactor building, explaining that the footage was shot before cover was installed.

Tanaka says that only later was it discovered that the images had been taken after the installment and the inside was not completely dark regardless of the existence of the cover.  TEPCO officials have now admitted that there was light inside the building which is transmitted through the cover, but also from lights installed inside of the cover as well.

TEPCO claims that the official in question, Toshimitsu Tamai, former chief of TEPCO’s corporate planning department, did not intentionally misinform the panel, but rather misread the situation inside of the reactor buildings.  However, audio recordings obtained by the Asahi Shimbun revealed that Tamai had stated that the fourth floor had no lighting, and repeatedly emphasized the potential dangers of wandering around in the dark carrying heavy dosimeters and through debris scattered around on the site.

“If you got lost, you would run into areas with dreadfully high levels of radiation,” Tamai said. “You would face a considerable danger and could be thrown into a panic.”

Tanaka says that TEPCO’s false testimony led the panel to give up the idea of conducting the on-site inspection.  The former panel member is demanding that the Diet investigate these and other possible obfuscations as well as conduct a thorough on-site investigation.

Source: JiJi Press

Source: NHK

Source: Asahi Shimbun

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