Top court nixes Monju suicide suit

Kyodo

The Supreme Court has rejected a damages suit filed by the family of an official who committed suicide in 1996 after being involved in a partial coverup of a coolant leak at the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture, according to judicial sources.

In its decision made Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld rulings in lower courts that found the now-defunct Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp. could not predict the suicide of the 49-year-old deputy administration department chief, the sources said.

The family had argued that the official killed himself in January 1996 after being forced by Monju’s operator, which is now known as the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, to lie at a news conference to assist in the coverup.