FUKUSHIMA – Three people on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against Tokyo Electric Power Co. and 32 of its current and former executives with the Fukushima Prefectural Police, arguing they neglected to take measures to prevent radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant from flowing into the ocean.
Among the three is Ruiko Muto, who heads a group of some 14,000 people who have filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors against the utility, its executives and government officials, arguing they should be held liable for failing to prevent the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
In the latest complaint, the three said the failure of Tepco and its executives, including current President Naomi Hirose, to take appropriate steps has caused the daily outflow of up to 400 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific.
Prosecutors are now considering how to deal with the initial complaint.
“They should have taken action at an early stage (of the contamination) but left the problem unattended for 2½ years,” Muto told reporters at a news conference in the city of Fukushima after filing the complaint. “Unless contamination is stopped right away, it could spread to the entire world.”
A Tepco spokesman said the utility was aware a criminal complaint had been filed with prosecutors but refused to comment on the specifics of the case.
“We are truly sorry for causing the public trouble and anxiety,” he said.
Plan urged overhauled
An academic panel investigating the triple-meltdown disaster that started in March 2011 at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant released the outline of its final report, which calls for an overhaul of the current decontamination plan.
In the outline released Monday, the Atomic Energy Society of Japan recommended decontamination work focus on areas where people regularly spend time instead of trying to reduce radiation levels of target areas all at once. Work to clean up radioactive areas in Fukushima Prefecture is behind schedule, it stressed.
The panel also backed the idea of releasing tritium into the sea after watering down the radioactive substance to the level naturally found in seawater.
Tons of radioactive water are flowing into the sea daily, including from leaky tankage used to store highly radioactive reactor coolant water.
Unlike other radioactive substances, tritium, a radioisotope of hydrogen, is difficult to remove from water even with a high-performance purification system, according to the panel.
The panel said AESJ officials are ready to explain the outlined recommendations to local residents and other groups.
It also underscored the importance of providing explanations to local residents and other countries before releasing tritium and of continuously monitoring tritium levels in seawater.