Science & Technology

Japan Utility Says Nuclear Crisis Could Have Been Avoided

Did not implement severe accident response due to fears of possible lawsuits


In a stunning reversal, the operator of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant said it knowingly avoided implementing safety measures necessary to protect its nuclear plants, out of fear for the economic and social consequences.

It was the first time Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted its errors in judgment contributed to one of the world's worst nuclear accidents last year.

"There was a worry that if the company were to implement a severe-accident response plan, it would spur anxiety throughout the country and in the community where the plant is sited, and lend momentum to the antinuclear movement," Tepco said in a report, explaining what it described as the "underlying reasons" the company didn't have a plan for such accidents.