Former TEPCO executives sentenced to 95 billion euros in compensation for the Fukushima nuclear disaster

For the first time, a Japanese court holds the executives of the Fukushima nuclear power plant responsible for the nuclear disaster that occurred after the 2011 tsunami. Four former executives must pay 95 billion euros in compensation.

A court in Tokyo today ordered four former directors of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to pay 13 trillion yen (about 95 billion euros) in compensation for their failure to prevent the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. They were acquitted in 2019. Then the verdict was that they did not anticipate a tsunami. that hit the nuclear power plant.

“Executives in companies that run such factories bear a huge responsibility that cannot be compared to those of other companies,” said Yui Kimura, speaking on behalf of the attorney general. “I believe the court ruling states that anyone who does not have the will or the appropriate capacity to take on this responsibility should not become a leader.”

The former managers’ lawyer declined to comment until he had carefully studied the ruling. A Tepco spokesperson also declined to comment, as Tepco declined to answer questions about individual lawsuits.

The conviction has already been appealed. The Tokyo High Court is expected to issue its ruling next year. There are also other lawsuits pending against Tepco, for example against residents of Fukushima who had to leave the area after the nuclear disaster due to harmful radiation.

In March 2011, the Japanese island of Honshu was hit by an earthquake that triggered a severe tsunami with waves up to 15 meters high. It has flooded the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing one of the worst nuclear disasters ever. The earthquake and tsunami killed 15,900 people. The nuclear disaster itself did not immediately claim lives, but did lead to radioactive contamination of the environment.

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Denton Watson

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