Three Former Tepco Executives To Face Charges

Three former Tokyo Electric Power Company executives are to be indicted Monday for “professional negligence” that contributed to injuries and deaths associated with the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese media reported Friday.

Fukushima DaiichiFacing indictments are former Tepco Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and two former vice presidents, Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro.

They are all elderly. Katsumata is 75, while Muto and Takekuro are 65 and 69, respectively.

The story of the plant's demise is well known. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake later named the Great East Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011 with the epicenter 45 miles offshore. The subsequent tsunami event flooded the plant's back up power, which lead to a failure of cooling systems in three reactors.

Units 1 and 3 suffered from fuel meltdowns. But the disaster became even more acute as a buildup of hydrogen resulted in massive explosions that partly demolished three buildings housing Units 1,3 and 4.

The criminal charges hinge on a June 2009 report that warned of the risks of a tsunami event. The report said the plant should be prepared for waves reaching 50 feet in height.

The charges list injuries to 13 people, who were hurt by the explosions at the plant. The evacuation of the area contributed to the deaths of 44 others, the charges will say.

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