WSJ: Tepco in stunning reversal — Admits knowing of problems before 3/11 and doing nothing… then blames actions on anti-nuclear movement

Published: October 12th, 2012 at 2:34 pm ET


(Subscription Only) Title: Japan Utility Says Nuclear Crisis Was Avoidable
Source: Wall St. Journal
Date: October 12, 2012, 12:54 p.m. ET

In a stunning reversal, the operator of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant admitted for the first time Friday that it had made errors of judgment that contributed to one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents last year.

[Tecpo] said in a report that the company failed to adequately prepare for a disaster and that it knew it wasn’t prepared, and yet it did nothing, out of fear for the economic and social consequences.

“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,” said the report, explaining what it described as the “underlying reasons” Tepco didn’t have a good plan for such accidents. […]

The report represents a shift in stance for Tepco, which had continued to maintain it had done its best to prevent an accident from happening—despite repeated criticism from government and private-sector panels that studied events. […]

Published: October 12th, 2012 at 2:34 pm ET


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67 comments to WSJ: Tepco in stunning reversal — Admits knowing of problems before 3/11 and doing nothing… then blames actions on anti-nuclear movement

  • arclight arclight

    sorry admin
    normaly i would wait to post links


    Amazing banned video – Unheard voices! Soma high school -Brilliant and very moving (Video)

    and as tepco or tecpoo are feces relevant… this quick video link

    New! Fukushima meltdowns -50,000 Bq/Kg in bird feces – Ibaraki, Japan


    and there it is! The most significant admission to why nothing's been done. And they were right to think the anti-nuclear crowd would advantage their position with this industry's total lack of professionalism. This is it kids! The tide's finally turned. Nuclear power is finished. It now remains a matter of putting a global-wide decommissioning into process. It was a horrible price to pay to end this deadly industry…but there it is…in black and white…an admission of failure…

  • Anthony Anthony

    They have no business being in the Nuclear business.

  • So what they are 'really' saying is…

    That, they intentionally did the wrong thing, because doing the right thing, would have exposed just how wrong the thing were wanting to do, actually was.

    Simply stated — Criminal Negligence

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


      Didn't something similar happen here on about 3/17/11? DOE knew the right thing to do but didn't do it? It appears not to have been the NRC according to the Fukushima FOI documents. So it was either the DOE or higher up.

    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Excellent turn of phrase, ChasAha!

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      "…Simply stated — Criminal Negligence…"

      but Wiki says:

      "…Usually the punishment for criminal negligence… and other related crimes is imprisonment, unless the criminal is insane (and then in some cases the sentence is indeterminate)…"

      TEPCO is an organizational psychopath (=insane). Sorry, ChasAha…No imprisonment, sentence indeterminate.

      The good news? Senior management is therefore deemed mentally disabled, which means they now qualify for employment by the Yakuza. They should be more than happy to work inside the reactors they built. Just cover up your dosimiter – what could be safer?


        @PavewayIII: "…which means they [TEPCO] now qualify for employment by the Yakuza." Doubtless you're already aware, TEPCO's long been in the employment of the Yakuza. It's one big (formally) happy 'family'…

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          Early in the disaster, Yakuza 'Temp Agencies' were reported to be sending Japan's (invisible) homeless and *mentally disabled* to Fukushima for clean-up chores of lethally-high radiation debris. TEPCO senior management qualifies for employment BY the Yakuza courtesy of #2.

          You can judge the character of a society by how they treat their weakest members.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "[Tecpo]…failed to adequately prepare for a disaster…and did nothing, out of fear for the economic and social consequences."
    So,, how do you like the "economic and social consequences" of your inaction so far?

    Can you now make the break with your American Nuclear Industry Elite masters, and end the nuclear power industry in your own country now? Your loyalty to the American Nuke Industry has thus far destroyed Japan, the Japanese economy, the Japanese people, and the Pacific Ocean Fishery. It remains to be seen if your support of the nuke industry has destroyed the entire Earth, as a future habitat for the human race.

    As a people, the Japanese are very much in tune with the concept of 'shame'., how will you ever come to terms with the shame your actions and inactions have brought to Japan?


      @PhilipUpNorth: "So,, how do you like the "economic and social consequences" of your inaction so far?" is the perfect question. The essential issues are stripped bare for all to see…and it's not pretty. I'm curious how the Japanese are going to handle this naked revelation. Their press (like ours) will continue ignoring the obvious, but the alternate press had better jump all-over this story…

  • weeman

    Try another excuse the true one you did not want to spend the money on disaster preperation and RandD, so you could get your performance bonus, you did not even have petty cash on hand to buy emergency supplies, how cheap a bunch of misers not fit to run a brothel.

  • Radio VicFromOregon

    It's a well thought out admission. This is what i hear TEPCO saying – nuclear reactors are safe if we make them safe; the antinuclear movement, while noble, will also look for any reason to rid the world of needed nuclear energy; if you want to blame anyone, blame the worry worts in Japanese society; increasing safety at a nuclear plant is an elective in Japan and it would have been wiser to be safer rather than trying to outmaneuver radicals; it's only part our fault; we had to lie but we won't do it again unless we really need to.

  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    I just saw this admission on CNN! Amazing.

  • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

    @Anthony; +1000 for your short but concise statement! I remember a discussion group here in an ENE news forum qso focusing on the "signs of TEPCO and Japan having to concede their being defeated and unable to deal with the world-class threat to the planet much less the half-hearted attempt to save Japan from itself deemed a "FAIL" in every way"!That was back only about 120 days into the FukuDu(p)-shima EQ,Tsunami & Nuclear Catastrophe and yet we figured out already that there would be much finger-pointing and scapegoating and "burnt offerings" in the form of CEO's & Govt. leadership & regulatory agencies admitting knowledge of conditions that could easily destroy their own countries and change the face of the globe while they TRY in vain to shift the blame??!!~This is a sign TEPGOV is,in their own way,"crying out for international HELP"!! They are crumbling now and Big Nuke is going to follow close on their heels!!This is actually great news IF the damage & contamination were to end and background levels drop back down to acceptable numbers while "real" operations under competent leadership work on long-term objectives & goals while implementing "emergency" containment & emission reduction missions designed to give us a break from the building levels of their deadly funk that TEPCO dared to blame on their victims="US"??!!! That last part really got under my skin though!-but their arrogance is expected to the "end"!!… 🙁

    • Anthony Anthony

      Cheers Johnny Blade. You know, I can forgive the mistakes of a bad location, perhaps in time I can forgive the countless deceptions before during and after this crisis, but I will be damned if I will turn a blind eye as they try to turn this into OUR FAULT.

      That`s the line they have shockingly crossed with this new garbage statement. I HATE unaccountable organisations. I would have gone on oblivious to nuke dangers if a responsible company was running Daiichi.

      On the positive, I think if this latest statement saturates the many already IRATE Japanese citizens, the potential for them to obliterate Tepcos power is high.

      How completely unacceptably offensive to turn the blame for your own chaos onto your population of customers. Id be infuriated if I was there personally.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nuclear disasters are unforeseen events, as proven my Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and others. Each happens from an unforeseen set of circumstances, and there is no way to be safe as long as they exist.

  • dka

    bs! they worried it would spure anxiety among the investors, and not as they pretend "among the society". They think we are that stupid or what? We all now know by now and by far that the SOLE and ONLY source of any actions of anyone paid by the nuclear industry is to only behave in the interest of the industry and at the expense of the society.

  • This is a pronuke blog….they allow comments, even my own LOL
    Stop by and let them know what thinking people feel about nuke.

  • aSpadeisaSpade aSpadeisaSpade

    This is an outstanding revelation, but leaves me wondering "what prompted this admission?". What do you suppose is the "back-story"?

    Did the US tell them that they were hanging them out to dry? Did they get wind of an imminent insider expose which will reveal much more damning evidence of their willful malfeasance and criminal complicity?

    I have a funny feeling that this is just the first shoe to fall. Look for the second one in a few days or weeks.


      all good questions aSpadeisaSpade. We know there's nothing new to what they're disclosing, which makes me wonder if they're getting ready to 'abandon ship' and push it off on the international community. There really is nothing more that they can or are capable of doing. Reminds me of a kid pushing peas around the plate, in hopes of early dismissal…

  • pierre

    alternatively, 311 was a nuclear attack and the government and institutions , to the extent it isn't already embedded in the evil that rules the world, has been subject to further nuclear blackmail.
    if they were really fessing up, we would have all the facts presented to us and would know where things stand.
    tell the truth , the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, then I might start to believe you.

  • GeoHarvey

    Is TEPCO really saying they would have been safe, if only those horrible anti-nuke people weren't complaining so much about things being dangerous?

    This makes the fabled excuse of the criminal, who says he went to jail because he was CAUGHT stealing, seem almost philosophical.

  • many moons

    It's an excuse for not having done anything about the obvious problems, not to mention saving money on non-preparedness

  • Urban27

    If a bus driver clearly sees a safety problem, that needs to be taken care of before continuing – he is making a big fault if continuing conducting the ride.
    Especial when he has four million passengers.

  • farawayfan farawayfan

    Fascinating, a backhanded admission of guilt while blaming, well, us. But even this level of admission means something is happening that they think they need this level of deniability even if they have to admit they committed a violation. Remember their (Tepco, Japan's Gov, nuclear industry and military complex) is minimization by any means, even admitting the lesser crime to distract from the greater. Something truly truly wicked this way comes……

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    So many great comments and we must move quickly to shut them all down!

    Start the worldwide decommissioning process immediately!

    It will take eons too just clean up this ecosystem mess already created by such folly based on the past 60 years!

    Do not take "No" for any answer!

    The only acceptable answer is "Yes"!

    We "will" start the decommissioning process of shutting them all down now!!!

    May the power of force, be with each of you and all those you contact, always!

  • Sickputer

    Stunned is the word to describe any adult humans with an ounce of intelligence who hear this insane excuse.

    Obama, Clinton, Chu, and Macfarlane just shit in their pants (make that pantsuit for Allison). Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of American nucleocrats.

    Can't wait to hear the retraction from Tepco after Uncle Sam whips their ass with a big belt.

  • ML

    Heard this story on NPR this morning, quickly sandwiched in between others. I think the US pressured this admonition because they can now say, "See….such things won't happen if we pay attention to the warning signs…So this type of accident isn't likely to happen to similar reactors in the US."

    (Sorry, Marjia, I am not an academic and to coerce academics in my area to speak out would be asking them to risk their jobs. But I am working through other avenues.)

  • Mack Mack

    TEPCO may just be admitting it now, but a March 29, 2011 Reuters article said this about TEPCO:

    "…a review of company and regulatory records shows that Japan and its largest utility repeatedly downplayed dangers and ignored warnings — including a 2007 tsunami study from Tokyo Electric Power Co's senior safety engineer."


    "…even in normal operations, the regulatory record shows Tokyo Electric had been cited for more dangerous operator errors over the past five years than any other utility."

  • Mack Mack

    In today's Reuters' article on TEPCO

    former NRC Chairman Dale Klein —->

    "…said nuclear power can be safe in any country – even in quake-prone Japan – if done properly."

    Good grief.

    • Anthony Anthony

      Good catch. Everything is always about spin, isn't it?

    • harengus_acidophilus

      "if done properly"

      But, if done properly, it's to expensive and you can't earn money from a NPP by producing electricity, weapon stuff and atomic garbage, so you have to bring a lot of money in.

      …sounds like "public affairs", debts…


  • dosdos dosdos

    If we've learned one lesson from Fukushima, it's that public anxiety is much more deadly than radiation.

  • Anthony Anthony

    Something spinny or dangerous is up…. look at World Links on yahoo – not once but TWICE!!!

    Outcry over Nobel Peace Prize winner

    Critics are stunned as the coveted award is given to the European Union amid growing turmoil.
    Somali pirate: Greek-owned ship released after $2.3 million…
    Russia's foreign minister: Syrian plane forced to land in Turkey…
    As Fidel Castro's long public absence sets rumours swirling…

    Biden, Ryan clash over foreign and economic policy in combative…
    Meningitis outbreak expands to 12 states, 184 cases: CDC
    Police: Apparently drunken Secret Service officer arrested after…
    Japan utility admits nuke crisis avoidable, says it feared…
    Fukushima operator admits nuclear disaster avoidable
    Germany holds firm on Greece as IMF pressure mounts

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Speaking of NPP safety, this is my video of the week. Dozens of Greenpeacer's entering Swedish NPP Forsmark in bright daylight. Some of them even stayed overnight in the premises. Lovely….


    • Radio VicFromOregon


    • Urban27

      Six years ago Forsmark was only 20 minutes from a meltdown, and a Fukushima like situation.
      In the summer the reactors are turned off for maintenance – In the high voltage switch gear part, the electrical grounding was disconnected.
      Then when the reactors starts up to full power, and the high voltage net is connected (400,000 volts) – this high voltage runs into the system – breaking the measurements and controlling devices.
      Then there is little time to start diesel electrical support for cooling. There are four large diesel generators and it is needed at least two to get working. But the first didn't start – neither the second. The two left started and then there was only 20 minutes from meltdown.. (all generators had the same fault – it was only luck the two started)..

  • mungo mungo

    this news didnt make the good old BBC…no surprises there….

  • Urban27

    I think this 180 degree reversal is dribbling with words – They do this on purpose – If there is a court situation in the future, they have already admitted. So it is difficult to accuse them of lying.
    Actually they should be reported to the IAEA for saying this. They admit they have not been living up to the safety stadards.
    Maybe they have already been reported, and this is just a maneuver to avoid heavier charges?

  • Andres Arce Andres Arce

    This suit-man is aiming his gun to his head already; call an ambulance.