Building a world of
resilient communities.



Japan: Police Raid Nuclear Plant Offices

Dozens of police officers on today raided the offices of Kansai Electric at the site of Japan’s worst nuclear plant accident as part of a criminal investigation into the tragedy that killed five people last month, an official said.

The electric utility and Nihon Arm Co., an affiliated company, are under investigation on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death and injury following the August 9 accident at the Mihama nuclear power plant, said Shuichi Nosaka, deputy head of Tsuruga city police.

No charges have yet been brought against the company.

Five people died – four almost instantly – when a corroded cooling pipe ruptured, spewing boiling water and superheated steam on workers at the plant. Six others were injured, including three seriously. No radiation leaked from the reactor.

The water flowing through the pipe was about 150 degrees Celsius (300 Fahrenheit) at the time of the accident.

About 150 police officers searched the companies’ offices, Nosaka said.

Television footage showed busloads of investigators riding into the grounds of the Mihama plant, about 200 miles west of Tokyo, in the early morning raid.

The incident has deepened concerns about the safety of Japan’s 52 nuclear reactors, which supply about a third of the country’s electricity, and about plans to build 11 more by 2010.

Two workers died in a radiation leak at a fuel reprocessing plant in north-east Tokyo in 1999.

Kansai Electric said in a statement that it was “fully co-operating” with the investigation.

“We are taking this accident very seriously,” the company said. “We will do our utmost to carry out an earnest investigation as soon as possible so an accident like this does not happen again.”

Kansai Electric, Japan’s second largest electric utility, admitted after the accident that the ruptured cooling pipe had not been inspected since 1996, despite a warning last year that it was a safety threat.

An internal probe revealed that the wall of the burst pipe had eroded to about one-tenth of its original thickness, since the reactor was built in 1976.

The utility later said an ultrasound test might have detected the thinning, but acknowledged it never carried out such inspections.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.


Review: 7 key scenes in Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate film Before the Flood

Before the Flood, a new feature-length documentary presented and produced by …

Transition in Cities  

It is widely assumed that the ongoing migration of rural peoples to …

Peak Oil Review: A Midweek Update - 20th Oct 2016

 A midweek update. This week’s EIA stocks report gave a …

Oil & Money: Tackling Corruption and Climate Change

This week, senior executives of the oil and gas industry will be meeting at …

CCC: UK must Act Now to Secure Zero-Carbon Heat by 2050

UK heating must be virtually zero-carbon by 2050, says the Committee on …

Peak Oil Review - Oct 17, 2016

 A weekly roundup of peak oil news, including: -Quote of the week …

Deepwater Horizon and our emerging 'normal' catastrophes

We think of the world we live in as static and linear rather than dynamic …