TEPCO accused of blocking probe into nuclear crisis
Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) falsified video evidence in order to prevent an on-site check of its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a former Fukushima plant designer and later a member of the Diet committee tasked with investigating the nuclear crisis claims.
According to Mitsuhiko Tanaka, TEPCO falsely claimed that an inspection was impossible. Pointing to video evidence supposedly shot inside the No. 1 reactor before a cover had been placed on it, TEPCO claimed the structure was now too dark and dangerous to permit inspection. However, Fuji TV reported Friday that it was later discovered the video had been taken after the cover had been installed.
Tanaka, who has a history of exposing corruption in the nuclear industry, has made written requests to the chair people of
both houses of the Diet, asking that the planned inspection be carried out in the light of the revelation. Tanaka told reporters that “they were afraid of the committee uncovering inconvenient truths, so they blocked the investigation,” Fuji reported.
TEPCO says it did not intentionally lie about the conditions inside the structure.
According to Japanese media, Tanaka once helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 4 reactor while working for a unit of Hitachi Ltd in 1974. After he blew the whistle on corruption in the nuclear industry, the government refused to investigate his claims, saying that TEPCO’s denial was satisfactory.