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The True History of TEPCO [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2011-3-18 13:00:50 |Display all floors
In face of the nuclear desaster unfolding in NE Japan, I searched a bit the web to find more about TEPCO, the culprit. I was suuccessful and found TEPCO's history, its cosy relationship with the former ruling party, LDP , and it's Mafia-style management.  I hope CD permits this relatively long story because it was just thrown off a Japanese web site.

Since it's a longer story, I post it in several parts:


The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is the conglomerate at the centre of Japan’s nuclear radiation emergency at Fukushima. Its operations over the past several decades epitomise the government-backed pursuit of corporate profit, at the direct expense of lives, health and safety.

TEPCO is the fourth largest power company in the world, and the biggest in Asia, operating 17 nuclear reactors and supplying one-third of Japan’s electricity. It has a long, documented history of serious safety breaches, systemic cover-ups of potentially fatal disasters, persecution of whistleblowers, suppression of popular opposition and use of its economic and advertising clout to silence criticism.

Among the company’s record of more than 200 proven falsifications of safety inspection reports are several relating to the stricken Fukushima Daiichi facility itself. In 2002, TEPCO admitted to falsifying reports about cracks that had been detected in core shrouds at reactors number 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, as far back as 1993.

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Post time 2011-3-18 13:49:58 |Display all floors
The current crisis at Fukushima, caused by last Friday’s magnitude 9 earthquake, is not the company’s first quake-related breakdown. In 2007, a much smaller 6.8-magnitude tremor caused a fire and radiation leaks that shut down TEPCO’s seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, the world’s biggest. The company later admitted that the plant had not been built to withstand such shocks.

TEPCO’s record is a case study in the complicity of successive Japanese governments and regulatory agencies over the past 40 years in the safety failures of nuclear power companies. With the backing of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which ruled Japan virtually continuously from 1955, when it was formed, to 2009, the business elite aggressively pursued the construction of more than 50 nuclear plants over the objections of residents and environmentalists, in order to secure the energy needs of Japanese capitalism, despite the patent dangers of doing so in one of the world’s most earthquake-prone zones.

The known nuclear cover-ups—undoubtedly just the tip of the iceberg—began to emerge in 1995. In that year, an official falsification of the extent of a sodium leak and fire at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Monju fast-breeder reactor caused public outrage. It was revealed that Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC), the agency then in charge of Monju, had altered reports, edited a videotape taken immediately after the accident, and issued a gag order to employees. After a long series of court battles, the government allowed the reactor to restart last year.

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Post time 2011-3-18 14:03:07 |Display all floors
In 1999, one of Japan’s worst nuclear accidents occurred at the Tokaimura uranium processing plant, 120 kilometres north of Tokyo. An uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction at the plant, operated by JCO, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Mining, killed two employees and spewed radioactive neutrons over the countryside. Fifty-five workers were exposed to radiation and 300,000 people ordered to stay indoors, after the circumvention of safety standards caused a leak. Government officials later said safety equipment at the plant had been missing.

Three years later, TEPCO was exposed as falsifying safety data, including at the ageing Fukushima Daiichi facility. Initially, the company admitted 29 cases of falsification. Eventually, however, it admitted to 200 occasions, over more than two decades between 1977 and 2002, involving the submission of false technical data to authorities. According to the Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), TEPCO had attempted to hide cracks in reactor vessel shrouds in 13 units, including Fukushima Daiichi (6 reactors), Fukushima Daini (4 reactors), and Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (7 reactors).

TEPCO’s wrongdoings were only revealed as a result of whistle-blowing by a former engineer at General Electric (GE), a company with close connections to TEPCO. GE built the plants and has been contracted by TEPCO to carry out inspection and operational matters for decades. Two years earlier, the engineer had reported the safety frauds to the relevant ministry, MITI, the forerunner of the current Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), only to have the government supply his name to TEPCO and conspire with the company to bury the information.

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Post time 2011-3-18 14:03:50 |Display all floors

Reply #2 satsu_jin's post

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您买象牙 - 您杀了大象!
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjU1Nzg0NDky.html - “用现代文明标准比划中国人,是严重的种族歧视行为。”
„Ich ficke wo, wen, und wann ich will, hast du mich verstanden. Auch du könntest ficken, aber du kannst es ja gar nicht, deine deutsche Genauigkeit... verbietet es dir“. Jean-Claude Juncker

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Post time 2011-3-18 14:11:49 |Display all floors
Hitachi, which conducted the air tightness checks for TEPCO, was also implicated in the manipulation of test results. On two occasions, the pressure readings in Fukushima’s No 1 reactor were unstable, so workers were instructed to inject air into the container to make it appear that pressure was being maintained.



Nevertheless, relying on TEPCO’s own calculations, NISA maintained that there should be no problem regarding the safety of the plants. The agency inspects nuclear plants only every 13 months, and leaves the inspection of the shrouds and pumps around the reactor cores to each company.


The LDP government feigned concern at these blatant safety breaches, with Seiji Murata, Vice Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, declaring the company had “betrayed the public’s trust over nuclear energy”. TEPCO’s senior executives duly resigned, and their successors formally pledged to take all necessary measures to prevent any further fraud. By the end of 2005, generation had been restarted at all suspended plants, with government approval.

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Post time 2011-3-18 14:14:30 |Display all floors
A little over a year later, in March 2007, the company announced that an internal investigation had revealed a large number of unreported incidents. These included an unexpected unit criticality in 1978 and additional systematic false reporting, which had not been uncovered in 2002. Once more, the firm was publicly remorseful. “We apologise from the bottom of our heart for causing anxiety to the public and local residents,” TEPCO vice president Katsutoshi Chikudate said. The company was permitted to keep operating.


Several months later, in July 2007, the 6.8 quake that shut down TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant demonstrated the real nature of the company’s assurances. The earthquake, 10 kilometres offshore from the Honshu west coast plant (near Niigata), caused subsidence of the main structure, ruptured water pipes, started a fire that took five hours to extinguish, and triggered radioactive discharges into the atmosphere and sea. The company initially said there was no release of radiation, but admitted later that the quake had released radiation and had spilled radioactive water into the Sea of Japan. Seismologist Katsuhiko Ishibashi warned that had the epicentre been 10 kilometres to the southwest and at magnitude 7, Kashiwazaki City would have experienced a major emergency.

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Post time 2011-3-18 14:18:28 |Display all floors

EU/US Companies can into integtity

Originally posted by satsu_jin at 2011-3-18 14:03
TEPCO's wrongdoings were only revealed as a result of whistle-blowing by a former engineer at General Electric (GE), a company with close connections to TEPCO. GE built the plants and has been contracted by TEPCO to carry out inspection and operational matters for decades. Two years earlier, the engineer had reported the safety frauds to the relevant ministry, MITI, the forerunner of the current Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), only to have the government supply his name to TEPCO and conspire with the company to bury the information.


Can eastern companies/Institutions one day?
您买象牙 - 您杀了大象!
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjU1Nzg0NDky.html - “用现代文明标准比划中国人,是严重的种族歧视行为。”
„Ich ficke wo, wen, und wann ich will, hast du mich verstanden. Auch du könntest ficken, aber du kannst es ja gar nicht, deine deutsche Genauigkeit... verbietet es dir“. Jean-Claude Juncker

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