Justitia, Old Bridge of Heidelberg

Justitia, Old Bridge of Heidelberg
Justitia, Old Bridge of Heidelberg © Gernot Keller, 2007
Blinkered Justice articles also appear on CrimeTalk and Government In The Lab

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCo) set for smack on the wrist

In amongst the bin Laden news this week, are reports about the latest efforts to do a cool shutdown of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. However, before TEPCo go head and cool the reactor, they need to vent the building of radioactive air so that operators can go down and deal with the cold shutdown. American and British scientists are concerned by this proposal, in light of TEPCo's inability to deal this disaster thus far, and because there are increasing concerns of an undiscovered radiation leak from a damaged reactor. Readings indicate that there are 100-1000 times the usual amount of radiation in the ocean close to the plant.

I am surprised that TEPCO are still leading this effort, given their incompetent handling of events thus far. One can forgive them the circumstances in which this came about. They can not be blamed for the earthquake or the tsunami. Those in charge of TEPCo now have little to do with the design flaws inherent in the plant that made it incapable of withstanding the earthquake/tsunami. However, from other reports, it does appear clear that TEPCo are guilty of not maintaining the plant as rigorously as they ought to have.

However, my particular concern with TEPCo is not necessarily in their handling of the recovery effort, but more to do with what appears to have been a campaign of misinformation/disinformation to the public. Right from the very start, TEPCo seem to have operated a propagandist approach to dealing with the situation. Every day, they told the public of their ability to handle to situation, and every day they reassured people of the dangers. Yet each of their reassurances were found to be lacking in any form of veracity. The Japanese government, the IAEA and other institutions have failed to support each of TEPCOs statements. In this last week, TEPCo have blocked Greenpeace from taking radiation measurements from the bottom of the ocean floor. Only in the last couple of days, have TEPCO allowed Greenpeace within a few miles of their plant.

Surely if things were as they claim to be, this would not be a problem. I note that TEPCo's offer of financial compensation for the victims of this disaster has been castigated by the Japanese government.  If this form of harm had been committed by an individual then governments around the world would be seeking some form of penal justice. TEPCo should be held responsible for the leaks, but more importantly, they should be held responsible for any harms that they have caused as a result of their campaign of misinformation/disinformation.

Any physical pain suffered by citizens, nationally and internationally, any harms suffered by those that earn their living from the sea and land, as a result of TEPCo's misguidance, ought to be dealt with in a more equitable manner.  The law does not allow for this at present. It should.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment