A panel investigating Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s response to the triple meltdown during the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster revealed an unpardonable breach of trust by the operator of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
But there is still a lot more work to be done by the panel to uncover the full scope of the utility’s apparent meltdown cover-up.
Immediately after the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, then TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu instructed employees not to use the term “meltdown,” leading to a delay in the official announcement, according to a report compiled by the investigation panel commissioned by the company.
A reactor meltdown, or the melting of nuclear fuel in the core of a reactor, is about as bad as it gets.
The panel’s report suggests that in the middle of this unprecedented nuclear disaster the top official of the plant operator was trying to conceal the severity of what was unfolding from the public, including people living in areas around the plant.
For four long years, TEPCO kept giving false explanations about the delay in the announcement of the reactor meltdowns to Niigata Prefecture, which was demanding the truth of what happened. The company claimed it did not have the criteria for defining and determining a meltdown. The firm also said no in-house instruction was given to employees telling them not to use the term...