19:38 GMT +317 October 2019
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    A Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) employee walks past storage tanks for contaminated water at the company's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima, Japan, on February 23, 2017

    First Trial of Former TEPCO Executives Over Fukushima Disaster Opens in Japan

    © AFP 2019 / Tomohiro Ohsumi / POOL
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    Three former executives of TEPCO went on trial Friday, in the first such process that will decide on the operator’s criminal liability in the Fukushima disaster.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Three former executives of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) went on trial Friday, in the first such process that will decide on the nuclear operator’s criminal liability in the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

    TEPCO’s ex-chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata faced the Tokyo district court alongside two former vice presidents, Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto.

    The trio has pleaded not guilty, with Katsumata saying the fallout was impossible to predict, the national news agency Kyodo has reported.

    The court will determine whether the meltdown and radioactive leakage of the Fukushima nuclear power plant was the result of professional negligence, rather than a natural disaster.

    The Fukushima nuclear accident occurred after the facility was hit by a huge tsunami wave that was triggered by a major earthquake. The catastrophe caused Japanese authorities to shut down all NPPs in the country over safety concerns.

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    Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Fukushima, Japan
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